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Protecting Your Self This Season Part 4

by admin on December 12, 2013

Give without being Taken for a Ride

Tis the season for giving. This time of the year wallets and hearts open up to help those less fortunate. Every year con artists create fake charities or even “borrow” the identity of real organizations, ask for donations and keep them for themselves. Some may use the internet to send emails under a fake name or send out mass mailing. Criminals can obtain a P.O. Box to receive donations in the forms of checks or cash. The patrons of these charities never know that their donations went to Hanks trip to Paris instead of Wounded Warriors.

It is hard to spot a fake organization because they often put a lot of work into their con but there are a few signs that can help you spot the difference.

-Do your research www.charitynavigator.org is a website that evaluates charities for authenticity. Search to see if your charity is listed there.

-Look at the website address. Does it end in “org”.

For Example: If you’re searching for Boys & Girls Club look for the site, this would be safe choice to explore: http://www.bgca.org/

Non-profits organizations’ domains should end with .org instead of .com

-Watch out for “charities that only accept cash or try to rush your donation. This may be a sign that they don’t want a paper trail or the information they’ve given you is fake.

Ask for proof that a contribution is tax deductible: When people make smaller donations they often don’t request a tax deduction form. Any legitimate charity should be willing and able to provide this documentation.

Remember: There are a countless charities, don’t assume that if you haven’t heard of them they don’t exist. Do research. 

 

 

Check back for tips on protection yourself this season.

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