Giving monetary donations to a cause you deem worthy is an admirable action. According to National Philanthropic Trust, Americans gave $427.71 billion in 2018 to charities. Fraudsters know holidays are a prime time to ratchet up their efforts to scam individuals who have giving hearts. They use a variety of techniques to influence and manipulate your good intentioned actions. These activities include telephone calls, emails, websites, and social media campaigns. Charity fraud schemes are successful because they model how authentic charities communicate with potential donors.
The following steps provide a measure of protection for individuals contacted by organizations or individuals seeking donations.
- Make donations via credit card or check versus cash, gift card, or money wire. Fraudsters and scammers will seek to have an individual make donations in a none trackable manner.
- Do not click links for donations received in emails from organization you are not familiar with.
- Do not click links for donations in social media campaign post.
- Be cautious of individuals calling using high pressure techniques seeking immediate donations over the phone.
- Conduct independent research on organizations prior to donating to confirm it is reputable.
More resources are listed below to assist an individual from becoming a victim of charity fraud.
The Alabama Attorney General’s website list information to assist individuals in remaining vigilant when donating to a cause they support. To view a recent news release from the Alabama Attorney General’s website educating consumers on charity fraud click here.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides consumers information to avoid charity fraud. Review the links below for further information from FTC.
- How to Donate Wisely and Avoid Charity Scams
- Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks
- Donating Through an Online Giving Portal
- Before Giving to a Charity
Websites to assist in research of charity organizations:
Bookmark Alabama Cybersecurity website to stay informed on the latest issues and useful tips to stay safe online.