How to avoid donation scams during disasters

ST. LOUIS, MO — When disaster strikes many people want to give back. But how do you know you are supporting a good cause?  Carol Rogers, managing director and partner at High Tower St. Louis explains the signs of donation fraud.

"It's important to keep excellent records of all donations since the IRS requires it for tax purposes," said Carol Rogers, managing director/partner HighTower St. Louis. "If you are unsure whether a donation is tax deductible, consult a financial advisor to confirm."

The Federal Trade Commission recommends:

• Donate to charities you know and trust with a proven track record dealing with disasters.
• Be alert of charities that seem to have sprung up overnight in connection with current events.
• Double check the charity with the Better Business Bureau`s (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch or GuideStar.
• Designate the disaster to ensure funds are going to disaster relief, rather than a general fund.
• Don`t assume that charity messages posted on social media channels are legitimate. Research the organization and make sure it`s reputable.
• When texting to donate, confirm the number with the source before you donate. The charge will show up on your mobile phone bill, but donations are not immediate.
• Find out if the charity or fundraiser is required to register in your state by contacting the National Association of State Charity Officials. If they should be registered, but they`re not, consider donating through another charity.

For more information, please contact www.hightowerstl.com or call 314.598.4060.