Bogus Charity Scams Are A Killer!

Charity scams and fundraising phone fraud have unfortunately taken a big leap.

Charity scams lead to identity theft.

The problems with our economy have affected everyone and everything. Some of the worst hit is the charities.

They depend on us and our contributions; but, because people aren’t able to give as often or as much to the charities, there has been a decrease in funding.

These financial challenges have led to charities having to solicit more often and to ask for larger donations, many times using direct-mail and telemarketing solicitations to raise their funds.


Hurricane Katrina

Scams dealing with charities have been around for a long time, but were massively brought to the publics' attention in the aftermath of 9/11, when hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.

  • The thief calls and says he represents a charity and is soliciting donations.
  • You will be asked for all your personal information. Or..
  • These email scams are linked to the bogus web site which in turn, when clicked on, asks for all your personal information.
  • In the case of Katrina, the solicitors preyed on your emotions in hopes of reeling you into charity scams.

To protect yourself from identity theft scams of this nature, make sure you check out the charitable organization first, Before you give.

Most of them must be registered with the State Attorney General. Please take the time to check if the company is legitimate.


Important Scam Tips:

  • Some charities that are phony, use a name that is very similar to a charity organization with a well known name.
  • Only donate to charities with a history and a well know name.

Check the charity to see if it’s bogus at charitywatch.org, charitynavigator.org, guidestar.org or give.org.

  • Do Not give cash gifts. Sending cash in the mail is not secure and not good for tax purposes.
  • Always ask for a receipt that shows the amount of your donation and states the contribution is tax deductible.
  • If you get a call that thanks you for contributing to a charity and you know nothing about it, double check your records to confirm if you gave a donation.
  • Don’t give out any personal information to this person.
  • Legitimate charities will not put pressure on you to contribute.

Say no to high pressure sales tactics.

If you get a call from a solicitor asking for money, be sure to call said charity back and check to see if the call was legitimate.

See phone scams to learn more important information.

  • If a charity offers to use an overnight delivery service, or offers to send a courier, pass on this charity; don’t do it.
  • In the past, I’ve had calls stating if I contributed to a charity; in exchange, they would guarantee sweepstakes winnings for me. This is a scam!
  • Lately, scams for charities have prominently used the firefighters, military or police as their key words for trying to get donations.

Just because the scammer uses one of these words in his organization name doesn’t mean it is legitimate.

Police and fire usually use paid, professional fund-raises specifically for this job.

The bottom line is to give with your heart, but don’t let charity scams suck you into being scammed and having identity theft happen to you.


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