Charity scams occur when a fraudster claims to be collecting money for a worthy cause but is pocketing the funds for themselves instead. Learn how to spot the signs of a charity scam and what to do if you’ve been targeted.
While each individual scam may be slightly different, charity scams typically have several red flags in common. These include:
If you believe you’re being targeted by a charity scam, stop your communication with the organization immediately. Don’t respond to any additional solicitations. Report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission to help prevent others from falling victim.
If you’ve provided sensitive information to the fraudulent organization, take steps to prevent future fraudulent charges or actions from occurring. Contact any financial institution where your account could be impacted. For example, call your credit card issuer if you gave out your credit card number and need to have it changed, and contact your credit union or bank if you provided your checking account information.
It can be unnerving to think that there are criminals who are willing to take advantage of your generosity. Don’t let that stop you from giving to causes you care about – just take precautions to ensure that your donations will do the good you intend.
Unfortunately, there are fraudsters who will intentionally choose a name or logo that’s very close to a legitimate organization or pose as a representative from a well-known charity to convince you to donate. If you’re not sure whether the communication you’re receiving is legitimate, contact the nonprofit directly to inquire and make sure your donation is going to the right place.
There’s no shortage of scams out there to be wary of. To keep your identity and your finances safe, it’s important to stay informed. Check out these ways we can work as a team to prevent fraud.