LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — 'Tis the season for giving but it appears that Las Vegas is pretty generous year round. GoFundMe found that Las Vegas is among the most generous cities in the country, ranking No. 9 on its list. Steamboat Springs, Colorado, was at the top of the list, based on donations per capita. Experts say your generosity should be paired with caution.
"It doesn't surprise me that the Las Vegas community is generous," said retired Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Lt. Randy Sutton. "Here's the problem, there are so many people that will take advantage of the kindness of others."
The biggest most recent scam is the story of an East Coast homeless man who gave his last few dollars to a woman stranded after she ran out of gas. Now all three have been charged for allegedly making the incident up.
"People need to do their research, who is it that is benefiting from it," said Sutton.
You should also beware of viral campaigns. Donate when you personally know the people behind the campaign. Pay attention to how much money is needed and if it's already been raised, there's no reason to go above that.
Dr. Beth Creel is a certified grief recovery specialist.
"Vegas has had a very difficult past certainly in 2017 and I think that we're trying to recover as best we can in 2018," said Dr. Creel.
She says there are benefits to giving back.
"Studies show that when you give back it raises self-esteem... it increases relationships," she said.