Prevent Scam Artists from Preying on Your Holiday Spirit

Wednesday, November 17th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The holiday season is almost here and many people are getting into the giving spirit. The Better Business Bureau says it is also the time of year when many scam artists try to take advantage of that generosity. "People just don't stop and think,” said B-B-B president Rick Brinkley. “Should I check this out? What should I be doing? That's why these scams rise up this time of the year,” he explained, “because it's the time of the year when we start giving and stop checking out what we're doing"

The Better Business Bureau and Consumer 6 have compiled the following tips for giving wisely.

* Don't give cash, and only make the check payable to the actual organization, not a third party.

* Don't donate over the phone. Ask the caller to send you written information.

* Do not give out a credit card or bank account number over the phone.

* Watch out for sound-alike charities that try to play off the name of a legitimate group.

* Check with the BBB to find out if the charity meets its standards.

The B-B-B has information on most national and local charities. It will mail you a copy if you will mail a self-addressed, stamped envelope to their office in Tulsa. The address is:

Better Business Bureau - Eastern Oklahoma
6711 South Yale
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74136

It's important to check out a charity, because if you get scammed, it not only hurts you; it takes money away from legitimate charities that need the help.