Be careful when donating money to help Boston victims, scams pop up fast

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DENVER - In the wake of Monday's bombings in Boston, consumer advocates are warning those looking to donate money or items to be aware of scams.

"They swoop in quickly and they are doing it at a time when donors are most vulnerable, most emotional," said Megan Herrera of the Denver area Better Business Bureau when describing charity scammers.

To protect yourself the BBB as well as other consumer groups recommend:

  • Verifying a fund's legitimacy before offering a cash or gift donations
  • Don't donate money to a person or groups who come to your door.
  • Don't give donations over the phone unless you can verify the caller's identity and organization
  • Beware of charities that use name or similar sounding names of well known organizations.

On Monday, just hours after the bombings, a Twitter scam emerged when an account offered a $1 donation for every re-tweet.

Those types of promises or offers are signs experts say consumers should use as a red flag of which groups to avoid providing donations to.

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