When you decide to support a cause you care about, you want your donation to count. Researching and planning your giving can help ensure your donations get where they’ll do good. Here are tips to help you plan your donation– and avoid scams.
- Be on alert
Never click links in unfamiliar emails or text messages, or visit websites provided through phone calls requesting donations. These could be fake websites designed to obtain your personal information.
- Only make donations to known charities
Before making a donation, conduct thorough research on the charity. If you receive a call, email, or text message asking for donations, verify the request through the organization’s website directly. Look for credible reviews or news coverage to ensure they are recognized for their genuine efforts. You may also research the charity by visiting recognized charity information/rating websites such as the www.Give.org, www.CharityNavigator.org, and www.CharityWatch.org
- Be careful how you pay
Always donate through secure payment gateways. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it. That’s how scammers ask you to pay. Legitimate charities offer various safe and secure payment options.
- Use caution with Crowdfunding sites
Crowdfunding websites are a popular tool for quick fundraising efforts but can be vulnerable to scams. If you choose to donate through a crowdfunding site, try to verify the fundraiser by talking to family or friends or donating directly to people you already know who have created fundraisers for themselves.
Individuals who have been targeted by fraudsters or been the victim of disaster-related fraud are encouraged to contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud at (866) 720-5721 or online at www.justice.gov/DisasterComplaintForm.
For more tips on how to avoid charity scams, visit:
- Be on alert