BBB: Be careful of scammers when donating to help victims from Australian wildfires

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FILE – In this Monday, Dec. 30, 2019, aerial file photo, wildfires rage under plumes of smoke in Bairnsdale, Australia. U.S. officials said Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020 they planning to send at least 100 more firefighters to Australia to join 159 already there battling blazes that have killed multiple people and destroyed thousands of homes. (Glen Morey via AP, File)

(WJHL) — As wildfires continue to ravage Australia, the Better Business Bureau is wanting to make sure you’re careful when making donations.

According to the BBB website, the fires have destroyed 18 million acres on land in Australia and are wanting people to be aware of the proper sites to donate to if you’re wanting to help.

The following sites were pulled from the BBB website. You can check out the group’s website about donation opportunities HERE.

Australian-based charities: If you consider donating to an Australian-based charity, check out the registry of the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission.

According to the organization, “while the following five entities were not evaluated by BBB Wise Giving Alliance, the American affiliates of these charities are BBB accredited.

Australian Red Cross

Australian Salvation Army

Nature Conservancy Australia

St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia  

World Wildlife Fund Australia

United States-based charities. There are a number of U.S. based charities that are accepting funding to address the Australian fires. See the following website links to find out more.

American Red Cross (a BBB Accredited Charity)

Direct Relief (a BBB Accredited Charity)

Global Giving (a BBB Accredited Charity)

International Fund for Animal Welfare (a BBB Accredited Charity)

Save the Children (a BBB Accredited Charity)

Canadian-based charities. There are a number of U.S. based charities that are accepting funding to address the Australian fires. See the respective website links to find out more. There is a list of Registered Charities provided by the Government of Canada.  While the registration with this government agency does not mean the government is recommending or endorsing the charity, it does signify that the group has filed the appropriate paperwork with this agency.

Salvation Army Canada (a BBB Accredited Charity)

Nature Conservancy Canada (a BBB Accredited Charity)

Helping Australian Firefighter Organizations.  Some donors also may have an interest in contributing to help the firefighters themselves. There are local Australian fire service entities known as “brigades” that do accept donations to carry out their various services. If you wish to support such entities, visit an official Australian government link such as the following: NSW Rural Fire Service. Be cautious about appeals from those claiming to raise funds for Australian firefighters without any official connection to them.

For more information, please see the full article Wise Giving Wednesday: Donating to Address the Fires in Australia

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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