Many people ask "what is a charity scam" so hopefully we can explain a bit better with the following article and immediately report charity scams. Charity fraud schemes, otherwise known as charity scams, are deceptive operations that look for donations or money by claiming to support a good cause. Instead, all donations go straight to the creators of the false charity. Even police charity scams which you would think would be safe can cause concerns. The following article details how to avoid charity scams and to even note some top 10 charity scams and keeping you safe.
These scams are most common after big events, like a natural disaster or mass tragedy. People are more willing to donate during these times. There are also more real charities collecting donations, making it harder for a donor to distinguish between an authentic cause and a scam.
Research Your Charity Before Donating
Even if you think you recognize the name of the charity you’re donating to, make sure to research before you donate. Scammers are clever; they can create fake charity names that are very similar to authentic charities or groups. Consider searching for the following information:
- Reviews for the charity (from donors or recipients)
- The charity’s background
- How the charity uses donated funds
- Further research with the top 10 charity scams
If you can’t authenticate a charity group, consider finding another charity to donate to instead. Many charity scams can create a strong background for their scam, but they will be very vague about where donated funds go or where there used. You want to know exactly where your money is going before you donate to any fund. This will help prevent assimilating within a scam.
Charity scams can seem very similar to real charity groups. This makes it difficult to distinguish between what can and can’t be trusted. This doesn’t mean you should never donate.
Just make sure to know the warning signs for a charity scam and to avoid them especially if they are suspicious! More importantly do your research even something as simple as verifying police charity scams.
Indicators of a Charity Scam
If a group is pressuring you for a quick donation, it’s likely a charity scam. Real charities may encourage donations if the cause is time sensitive, but there shouldn’t be any rush on the donors. Scammers, on the other hand, want to get their money and get it quick.
If a group is being vague about where your money goes, it could be a charity scam. Charity scams can’t be specific about where your donations are going—because, of course, they’re going right into the creators’ pockets. If a charity’s website is using general terms or can’t give specific examples of where donations go, be wary.
If a group tells you that any donation you make is tax-deductible, look into it. Many real charities do offer tax-deductible donations. There are limits placed on this by law, and it doesn’t always apply. Charity scams use the claim of “tax-deductible” to try and entice you to donate your money to them.
If a group that you have never donated to asks for a donation, see whether it’s a legitimate group or a fake one. In most cases, only charities that you have already donated to will contact you again in hopes of getting a second donation. They have your information on file and are then able to reach out for subsequent donations.
They will use many tactics to try and reach you: cold calls, social media, emails, or texts. If you receive a message from a charity you’ve never heard of, it’s extremely important to do your research before you donate to the group and if found suspicious to report charity scams.
Keeping Yourself Safe
Remember to stay smart online. Don’t make any payments with cash or gift card; always pay by credit card or check and keep a record of all donations. Check your statements at the end of the credit period to make sure that everything lines up.
Don’t click on any suspicious links sent through email, even if the sender claims to be working for a good and upstanding charity! Doing your own research can go a long way in protecting your cyber security and your assets.
Finally, check the charity’s website before getting involved or donating. A legitimate charity is more likely to end in .org, not .com.
Donating to a charity is a great thing to do. Unfortunately, there are many people who are eager to take advantage of your and others’ kindness. Don’t get caught up in a charity scam; do your research and you’ll be able to really make a difference to avoid charity scams.
Even verification of police charity scams like all other charity scams should be researched before making a donation. One thing to keep in mind is to report charity scams immediately so others may not be scammed and to follow up on the top 10 charity scams.
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