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15 Steps to Avoid Charity Scams. Charity Donation Fraud. Will donation reach the needy?
Charity scammers guzzle millions of dollars every year; the money which is intended to reach victims of natural disasters or the disadvantaged, is collected and stolen. In addition to such outright scam, there are also charities which spent only a fraction of the receipts on charity and the rest goes to lining the pockets of the founders & officials.
Charity scammers wait for disasters to happen, to ply their game of deceit. The recent Boston Marathon bombing and the Oklahoma Typhoon has placed these scammers on an overdrive. They set up fake call centers with automated dialers to call thousands of people and lure them into donating.
“Offcoure I want to help, provided the money I sent reaches the victims” said Tracy Chapman of Palm Desert. If every penny of the $100 that one donates goes to someone who needs help, a lot more people would volunteer to donate.
So how do you give, responsibly? 15Steps to Avoid Charity Scams
- Don’t allow yourself to be rushed by fund raisers. Take your time to review and evaluate the Charity
- Beware of scammers who could use a name closely resembling a well known Charity
- Don’t get squeezed into donating over a phone call. Ask the caller to send information by mail for you to review
- Don’t respond to email, text and phone calls for donations, unless you are absolutely certain
- Be wary of links in mail and text messages, which may lead to a phishing pages similar to the website of genuine Charities like the Salvation Army
- Check whether the Charity is duly registered at respective Govt. websites. (For example in US visit: http://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/)
- In the US, contributions to only IRS qualified charities are tax deductible. Hence check whether the Charity has 501(c)(3) tax exempt status
- If the Charity is real & genuine, send payment by check directly to the Charity than to the fund raiser
- Don’t agree to donate by Wire, Western Union, Cash Cards or by Cash.
- Get a formal Receipt for the payment made
- Never give out personal details, bank account info, credit card numbers over the phone
- Beware of fake “victims” who solicit donations on Social Media
- Don’t get fooled by such baits as “Free Gift”
- Legit charities are listed at Better Business Bureau’s Charity website www.give.org.
- If you’re approached face-to-face by someone representing a charity, obtain detailed identity Contact the Charity and verify
If you come across a Charity / Donation Scam, report details at: http://www.scamcallfighters.com/
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