Glass cauldron-shaped bowl filled with U.S. coin currency on top of an outdoor wooden table.

Charity Scams

Make Your Donation Count

It’s great to support causes that we care deeply about. Unfortunately, people can take advantage of your generosity. Instead of your donated funds contributing to a charitable organization, your money can end up in a scammer’s bank account. Here are two things to keep in mind that will help you donate your money wisely.

Be Cautious About How You Pay
Never provide donations to someone asking for cash, gift card, or money wire. It is safer to pay by a credit card or check. Always keep a record of all your donations and review your statements closely to make sure only the agreed amount was charged. Before deciding to give to a charity, run their organization through one of these websites. It will help you determine if the charity is legitimate.
Learn Their Tricks
It’s important to know how scammers operate so you can better spot a scam when it happens to you. At times, a fraudster will thank you for a donation that you never made just so they can get in contact with you. Often, fake caller IDs are used to appear as if they are a local organization so you must do research before agreeing to give money to someone over the phone or online. Here are some other tricks fake charities use.
  • Promising sweepstakes winnings
  • They rush you into donating
  • There are very few and vague details about how they use donations
Spend a little time doing research to make sure your money is making a difference instead of lining the pockets of a fake charity. If you have ever been a victim to a charity scam, you should report it to the Federal Trade Commission.