The Better Business Bureau and the Washington State Attorney General's office are already warning citizens to be careful how they donate to Oklahoma tornado relief.

The BBB and AG's office released information Tuesday that already several scams have popped up claiming to be raising money for the victims of the Oklahoma tornadoes. Some of the signs you might be dealing with a potential fraudulent charity include:

  • Be wary of solicitors demanding immediate funds or donations
  • Don't ever write a check to a fundraiser, or someone who claims to be soliciting for a charitable group.  Always make it directly to the trusted charity.
  • Be careful of "fake" memorial accounts, or those seen on social media, such as Facebook.  Unfortunately, as many as half of them are fake.
  • Before donating, make sure you get all the information about the group, and do a backround check to make sure they are legitimate.

The BBB, Attorney General, and Washington Secretary of State have a website where you can find verified charities that you can donate to. They urge people to make the decision to donate carefully and wisely, and not emotionally give to the first person or group who tries to solicit them.  Often, the faster and more urgent the demands made by the person trying to get you to donate, they could be a scammer. These people use emotion and urgency to get you to part with your money before you've had a chance to consider WHO you're donating to.