BBB warns of holiday scammers targeting millennials’ emotions

Charity monitoring groups are warning millennials not to fall for scammers who prey on their emotions during the holiday season.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) said millennials are often drawn to helping a cause because of the emotional story attached to it.

"I would want to do my research first," millennial Haley Brewster said.

>> ‘Happy Howlidays’: Police departments across the country share adorable photos of K-9 units on Christmas

Brewster said there are certain causes that catch her attention most.

"Something that touched me personally," Brewster said.

The BBB said scammers use the emotion against people, disguising a scheme with stories to target people who want to help.

"Those are emotional triggers," Bennett Weiner with BBB Wise Giving Alliance said. "They're not necessarily accountability triggers."

Earlier this year, a New Jersey couple entered guilty pleas after collecting more than $400,000 in GoFundMe donations.

>> Christmas Day Ohio car crash kills 4, injures several others

It started over a story about wanting to help a homeless veteran but instead prosecutors said the money was spent on luxury cars, gambling and vacations.

GoFundMe returned the money to duped donors.

"People get their guard down and they don't do the checking they need to do to avoid being taken," Weiner said.

The BBB said people should check with charity monitoring groups to make sure a charity is legitimate.

About the Author