These days, charities and fundraisers (groups that solicit funds on behalf of organizations) use the phone, face-to-face contact, email, the internet (including social networking and crowd funding sites), and mobile devices to solicit and obtain donations.
As with any new technology, scammers naturally look to exploit any opportunity to take advantage of your goodwill and willingness to help out a cause.
Regardless of how you are reached, make sure to avoid any charity or fundraiser that refuses to provide detailed information about its identity, mission, costs, and how the donation will be used. To be more informed, please take some time to familiarize yourself with red flags of common charity scams to ensure your good intentions are not exploited.
Red Flags of a Charity Scam:
- Won't provide proof that a contribution is tax deductible.
- Uses a name that closely resembles that of a better-known, reputable organization.
- Thanks you for a pledge you don’t remember making.
- Uses high-pressure tactics like trying to get you to donate immediately, without giving you time to think about it and do your research.
- Asks for donations in cash or asks you to wire money.
- Offers to send a courier or overnight delivery service to collect the donation immediately.
- Guarantees sweepstakes winnings in exchange for a contribution. By law, you never have to give a donation to be eligible to win a sweepstakes.
For additional information regarding this article and additional resources please visit the FTC. If you believe you have been victimized by a charity scam or wish to report suspicious activity, please file a report here.