Don't fall victim to Newtown scams

Dec. 27, 2012 @ 01:16 PM

The deaths of children and educators in the Newtown, Conn., shootings have elicited an outpouring of sympathy and support from the vast majority of people, but some con artists are trying to use the tragedy for ill gain.
Consumer advocacy groups, such as the Better Business Bureau, are warning people to be careful about solicitations for donations tied to the Dec. 14 tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
“It’s sad that scammers would take advantage of generous people after this tragedy, but they do. We urge you to use caution,” said Kevin Hinterberger, president  of the Better Business Bureau of Central North Carolina based in Greensboro.
Hinterberger said that con artists, after virtually every major disaster or tragedy, use the occasion to try to scam people, taking advantage of the natural urge to help in a time of need.
In the Newtown tragedy, the Better Business Bureau is alerting consumers to reports of phony charity solicitations, supposedly on behalf of the families of victims. The consumer advocacy agency recommends donors avoid giving to charities through unsolicited phone calls, emails, texts or social media appeals.
National media reports have indicated that some con artists have made false appeals for money based on specific families of children and educators who died in the massacre.
Legitimate routes for assistance have been set up to help the Newtown families and the community, according to the Better Business Bureau. The efforts are through charities and financial institutions in the Newtown area and western Connecticut.

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The Better Business Bureau says that at least two legitimate campaigns have been set up to help families of victims of the Newtown, Conn., shooting.
The United Way and Red Cross in western Connecticut and Newtown Savings Bank have established the Sandy Hook School Support Fund. Donations may be made to: c/o Newtown Savings Banks, 39 Main St., Newtown, CT 06470
Donors can call 1-800-461-0672 or help through the website https://newtown.uwwesternct.org
The Newtown Rotary Club has set up a foundation to manage contributions directly for families. Information is available through the website http://www.newtownctrotary.org/