SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — The Better Business Bureaus is warning people to hold off on making donations to help rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral that was severely damaged by fire in Paris.
French corporations and billionaires have already pledged millions to aid in the effort, and companies in other countries are starting to promise contributions, as well.
However, the BBB is asking people to “wait to donate,” to make sure donations are going to the official Notre Dame rebuilding fund and not into the hands of scammers.
President and CEO of BBB Wise Giving Alliance Art Taylor said, “Scammers are opportunists, and they will take advantage of whatever is in the news. We expect to see Notre Dame fundraising appeals on social media and crowdfunding sites. Some will be from well-intentioned people who are not directly involved with the cathedral, but some may be from scammers. BBB Wise Giving Alliance is urging people to ‘wait to donate’ until an official rebuilding fund is established.”
Taylor also reminded donors in Canada and the United States that donations are more likely to be tax-deductible if they ‘wait to donate’ through a charity based in their own country rather than contribute through another individual, a crowdfunding site, or a foreign entity.
Taylor added, “The rebuilding will take some time. It’s best to wait until we have more details about which official entities are raising funds to assist the rebuilding.”
Meanwhile, BBB Wise Giving Alliance reached out to contacts at the French charity monitoring organization, Le Don en Confiance, who said the French Ministry of Culture has identified four existing entities that are accepting funds to help with the reconstruction of Notre Dame:
- la Fondation du Patrimoine : https://www.fondation-patrimoine.org/
- la Fondation de France https://www.fondationdefrance.org/fr
- la Fondation Notre-Dame https://www.fondationnotredame.fr/
- le Centre des monuments nationaux https://www.rebatirnotredamedeparis.fr/
In addition, the French government has plans to create two funds, one for French donations and the other for international donations. The BBB will share information on these as they learn of them.
For more information:
- If you see a scam aimed at raising funds for Notre Dame (or any disaster), please report it to BBB Scam Tracker at BBB.org/ScamTracker.
- For more information on giving to trustworthy charities, go to Give.org.
- For tips on avoiding scams, go to BBB.org/AvoidScams.