Here's why you should wait to donate after the Notre Dame fire

You're less likely to get scammed and it may be tax deductible, BBB warns

By Garrett Pelican - Digital executive producer
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

All of us felt the heartache Monday watching helplessly as the Notre Dame Cathedral burned. So we totally get it if you're tempted to reach into your pockets to help repair the historic landmark.

But there’s no rush.

After all, billionaires and corporations have already pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to the effort. Plus, as the Better Business Bureau warns, you’re better off waiting to send in your donations.

That’s because you want to be absolutely certain your contributions are going to the fund to rebuild the iconic French cathedral instead of flowing into the pockets of scammers looking to exploit a tragedy.

“Scammers are opportunists, and they will take advantage of whatever is in the news,” said Art Taylor, president and chief executive officer of BBB Wise Giving Alliance.

Taylor said the BBB expects to see calls for donations crop up on social media and crowdfunding platforms, like GoFundMe, but he’s imploring people to hold off until an official fund is set up.

Another good reason to wait, he noted, is that donors have a greater chance of earning a tax deduction if donations are made to an official charity, rather than crowdfunding sites or foreign fundraisers.

“The rebuilding will take some time,” he said. “It’s best to wait until we have more details about which official entities are raising funds to assist the rebuilding.”

If you’ve seen a fundraiser for Notre Dame that you suspect might be a scam, please take a moment and report it directly to the BBB Scam Tracker.

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