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Are you #GivingTuesday? Billings charity groups say it’s helping, but watch out for scams

Posted at 5:01 PM, Nov 27, 2018
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:50:57-04

BILLINGS – Now that the shopping sprees are over, the charitable part of the holiday season is here.

Giving Tuesday (or #GivingTuesday) has taken off in recent years, reminding people to give back to organizations throughout the country during the season of giving.

In Billings, organizations are feeling the impact.

“Every year we see more and more buzz generated about it,” said Lisa McDaniel, communications coordinator for United Way of Yellowstone County. “More people knowing what it is and getting excited about it and saving up an extra couple of dollars to give rather than to spend on themselves.”

McDaniel said the day has grown in popularity over the last several years that the United Way has been a part of it, which in turn helps the group give back to the community.

“It really just increases what we can do for our community and ultimately it betters the people in our community who most need the help,” she said.

But it’s always smart to put a little research behind good intentions.

The Better Business Bureau offers some tips for those looking to give as a part of Giving Tuesday, and throughout the year.

First, keep an eye out for organizations with name similarities. Often scammers will create organizations with names similar to well-known charities to confuse people.

The BBB also suggests people check the website is secure so that personal information stays safe.  Avoid sites that ask for too much personal information, like a social security number or birth date.

It is also important to do your homework, and never be afraid to ask how the donations will be used.

Last year, the BBB said nearly $300 million was donated as a part of Giving Tuesday.