How to Avoid Charity Scams

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 8,144
    Lindsey Struck from Charity Navigator shares important tips on how to avoid common ways scammers take advantage of your goodwill.

    Lindsey Struck: Hi! I'm Lindsey Struck, Program Analyst at Charity Navigator. Most people have received a phone call, e-mail or in person request from a charity asking for some form of donation. As a donor those important information you should know before giving. For instance, many phone call soliciting charitable donations comes from for profit, professional telemarketers. The pocket a sizeable portion of your donation and may not really care about the cause they are promoting. Find out if the person calling works for Telemarketing Company or as a voluntary or employ of the charity itself. For profit telemarketing companies have been known to keep up to 90%, 95% or even 100% of donation. So, if the telemarketer calls you we strongly encourage you to hang up the phone and find another more efficient charity to support.

    Another common scam is e-mail solicitation, unless you have signed up to receive a charity's electronic communication, be skeptical of this type of appeal. As most credible organization do not send unsolicited emails. Like e-mail, social media has been become a frequently miss used platform. Steering imagines are used to generate interested and may contains links and viruses. Be sure to investigate the charity behind a social media campaign, to ensure that it is not only legitimated but also receives a good rating from us, a charity navigator. The same warning is true of crowdfunding sites. Crowdfunding sites offer little to no protection for you as a donor. These sites do not wad posted appeals and seldom make an effort to confirm that your donation was used in way that the solicitor promised.

    Avoid this given platform unless you know that person behind the appeal. Finally avoid the in person ask, this may be the cashier to grocery store or it might be a friendly person on the street asking for you to donate a dollar. Even if the person is asking on the behalf on the well known charity, you may not know if the charity is worthy of the support or if the charity aligns with the philanthropic passions.

    There is no guarantee that the person will not pocket some or all of your gifts. So, let's review the best prescription for how to avoid these common charity scams. Hang up the phone, delete unsolicited emails, particularly those with attachments. Do not give through social media campaigns, do not give through crowdfunding sites. Unless you know person behind the appeal and say no to the in person ask. Instead, be proactive in finding efficient and effective charities to support. So, you could be confident in your given decisions and avoid being scammed. 1

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