For the first time last year, Americans donated more than $400 billion to charity. A surge in donations comes during the holidays.
It is the season of giving. But for scammers, it is also the season of taking.
Fraudsters are constantly going door-to-door, to your mailbox and now online to take your act of goodwill for themselves. Most take plays out of the same scammer playbook.
Scammers posing under the name of a fake charity will:
- Rush you into donating
- Use names that sound like real charities, but are not
- Make vague claims about how the money will be used
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that some established charities spend just pennies of your dollar on charitable services.
To the avoid the scam, the FTC suggests:
- Checking the charity’s report and ratings on Give.org, GuideStar.org or CharityWatch.org
- Reporting problems immediately to the FTC