There's certainly been no shortage of disasters in 2020. Scammers are taking advantage of these events, and our compassion and generosity, to try and steal money. You may be approached on the street or at your front door. Scammers may also set up fake websites which look similar to those operated by real charities or contact you by phone or email to request a donation.
Stay Alert – Beware of Charity Scams Right Now
Watch for the warning signs of charity scams:
If you're looking for a charity to support, carefully research potential ones online. You can search for a cause you care about plus phrases like "best charity" or "highly rated charity." When you consider giving to a specific charity, search its name plus "complaint," "review," "rating," or "scam" to see whether or not it's reputable.
- You've never heard of the charity before, or it is well-known but you suspect the website or email may be fake.
- The person collecting donations on behalf of the charity does not have any identification.
- You're put under pressure to quickly give or made to feel guilty or selfish if you don't want to donate.
- There are vague and sentimental claims but no specifics about how your donation will be used.
- You're asked to donate in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money.
- You're not given a receipt. Or, they give you a receipt that does not have the charity's details on it.
There are many worthy organizations that will use your donation wisely. Make sure your money goes to them and not to scammers.
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