MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Collierville Police are issuing a warning after the department received reports of fundraising efforts connected to the Kroger mass shooting.
Collierville Police say they’ve spoken to the family of Olivia King, the woman killed two weeks ago at Kroger during a mass shooting. Her family tells the department they have not authorized any fundraising on their behalf, but there are some fundraising efforts going on claiming to help the family.
“Unfortunately whenever there is tragedy, scammers try to take advantage of it,” said Daniel Irwin with the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South. “They watch the news just like the rest of us and they’re looking for any opportunity to steal your money.”
The town of Collierville and the Collierville Police Department urge caution to those wanting to help. They’ve provided these tips:
- Make sure you do plenty of research about a group before breaking out your wallet. Even a simple search online can bring up potential red flags.
- Know where your money is going. Check to see how much of your money will go directly to the charity.
- Ask about registration. In Tennessee, a charity asking for donations must be registered with the Tennessee Secretary of State but be careful even scammers are sometimes registered.
They also suggest documenting your donations.
“Established charities much more likely to have the experience to address the circumstances of a tragedy. They have a track record that can be evaluated,” Irwin said.
Irwin says crowd funding sites are a great way for people to directly donate but always be cautious if you don’t know the people directly involved.
“If you’re giving to a crowdfunding site, make sure you review the platform’s policies and procedures,” Irwin said.
He also says double check the page. Make sure it has a clear title and explanation for the use of funds.
“Anyone can set up a page, so you just have to really be careful and make sure there’s some kind of direct connection and if there’s not that might be a red flag,” Irwin said.
You can also visit charitynavigator.org to find organizations.