Con artists pose as veterans charities this Memorial Day

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COLUMBIA – With Memorial day just around the corner, people will be hearing from veterans charities. The Better Business Bureau advises that not every heartwarming story you hear is true. Many schemers are taking advantage of the holiday to take your money.

They’ll call you, email you, knock on your door, even send you snail mail, requesting donations for some veterans charity that turns out to not be a charity at all.

State Representative and Marine Corps veteran, Stephen Webber called this “doubly damaging.”

“The veterans community is big on honor and honoring our service. To take advantage of that is extra painful. One it’s a scam and second, you’ve got somebody using the service that other people have done to perpetuate that scam.”

Sean Spence of the Mid-Missouri Better Business Bureau said to do your research before giving money to anybody.

“For any charitable donation, to make sure that you’re not getting scammed the key is to just take time to check it out,” he said. “The key is to not get pressured. They want you to give them your money as quickly as possible so they don’t have time to check them out.”

If you feel compelled to give to someone asking for donations, Spence added, you should ask them to contact you later. This gives you time to do research by checking out their website or looking at the BBB’s charity reviews. You can also make sure your donations are going to the right place by giving directly to a charity, rather than sharing financial information over the phone, via mail solicitation or on a website.