NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Monday’s deadly shooting at The Covenant School rattled the Nashville community, as well as the rest of the country, leaving many people seeking opportunities to help.

While donating to fundraisers is usually the best solution, according to officials, scammers often target those interested in giving back during times of tragedy.

On Thursday, March 30, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky urged donors to give thoughtfully, but also to avoid anyone seeking to take advantage of your generosity. 

“We are all in shock and mourning the loss of our fellow Tennesseans,” said Robyn Householder, president and CEO of BBB Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky. “During this time, we all want to help. We suggest before donating, do some research.”

For example, don’t assume that everyone using the victims’ names or photos has received permission from the families to do so, the BBB said.

You are also asked to be cautious about appeals that fail to specify the funds’ intended use.

“Donors should visit the website where they can verify if a charity meets the BBB standards for charitable accountability,” Householder recommended. “Visiting the website will help reduce confusion and risk of being scammed.”

The BBB offered four tips for anyone interested in providing financial support to help the victims’ families following tragedies like this:

  • Review crowdfunding sites to determine transaction fees and find out other details.
  • Before donating to a celebrity’s fundraiser, look past their fame and see if they explain how they plan to utilize the money.
  • Beware of vague appeals for money that do not share specifics for how the funds will be used.
  • Never click on links sent via text or email for unfamiliar charity websites.

“If our office can assist in any way, please let us know. We are here for our community. Please send us an email or give us a call 615-242-4222 and we will assist in any way we can,” Householder added.

If you want to report suspected fraud, you can file a complaint using the BBB’s Scamtracker. For more tips about charitable giving, check out the BBB Wise Giving Alliance website.