Giving to a Charity?
Fundraisers and Charities use the phone, email, internet, and mobile devices to solicit donations. Unfortunately, scammers use these same avenues to solicit your funds too.
Seven things to do before you donate to a charity:
- Ask for detailed information about the charity including address, phone number, etc…
- Research the charity name online for any complaints or scam warnings
- Call the charity directly and verify the solicitation method you received from them
- Examine if the charity is registered by contacting the National Association of State Charity Officials
- Research how much of your donation will go to the fundraiser they are promoting
- Know the difference between tax-deductible and tax-exempt
- Never send cash donations
- Don’t pay with wire transfers or gift cards. Scammers ask you to pay that way because these payment methods are hard to track.
- Do not give out a credit card or account information until you have researched the charity fully
- Be very cautious of charities that pop up quickly after a natural disaster or current event
- Your account statements. Make sure you’re only charged the amount you agreed to donate. Keep a record of all donations. You may need them later if your donations are tax-deductible.
If you think you have been scammed by a fraudulent charity or solicitation, please file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.