November 19, 2013

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Give Wisely, Avoid Charity Fraudsters

It’s hard to imagine a more despicable fraudster, than the one who surfaces to prey on the kindness and generosity of people during times of natural disasters. Recent events, unfortunately, open the door for charity fraudsters to launch fraudulent charity websites, or to call your home identifying themselves as representatives of a charity, to solicit donations.

The Better Business Bureau’s Start With Trust website offers some helpful resources related to charitable giving, one of which is an online search tool that enables you to search charity reports, by organization name, type of business, type of charity, web address, phone number, and email address.

Following are some helpful tips provided by the BBB’s Start With Trust website.

Tips To Give Wisely

  • Be cautious when giving online.
  • Rely on expert opinion when it comes to evaluating a charity.
  • Be wary of claims that 100% of donations will assist relief victims.
  • Find out if the charity has an on the ground presence in the impacted areas.
  • Find out if the charity is providing direct aid or raising money for other groups.
  • Gifts of clothing, food, or other in-kind donations.

So the next time you’re ready to sit to have dinner with your family and the phone rings with a caller soliciting donations for a charity, take down their information and do your research before making a contribution.

Melanie Medina

Sr. Director of Digital Marketing at IdentityForce
Melanie is a native of Bolivia who has lived in Boston for over 10 years. She likes to make time to travel, jog, read, and play backgammon. Fueled by copious amounts of coffee, Melanie stays on top of her to-do list while also keeping abreast of identity theft issues. Serious data breaches are happening all the time in the U.S. and Melanie loves being part of a solution that brings peace of mind to families across the country.