Combatting Fraud: Charity Scams
Chances are, you’ve been solicited for a donation to a charity organization. Whether it’s your college alumni association or another cause that is near to your heart, you may feel compelled to give when you receive a call or letter.
Unfortunately, scammers will lead you to believe they are soliciting on behalf of an organization when they really aren’t. If you donate, scammers may take not only the donation you made but also the credit card or bank information you provided. This could potentially cause even greater problems for you than just losing a well-intended donation.
So, how can you avoid charity scams? And if you do feel compelled to give back, how can you do so wisely?
First of all, never give out sensitive personal information like a credit card or bank account number to a caller or via email. Most legitimate charities have secure ways you can donate online. If that’s not an option, find out if you can donate in-person at a local office.
If you want to donate over the phone, call the local office yourself to ensure you’re reaching someone located at the office. If you decide to mail a check, verify online that the address and information you’ve been provided with matches what you can find about the charity. If you find conflicting addresses or phone numbers, that is a red flag.
You can read more about charity scams here: