Make Year-End Donations Safe and Secure

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Make Year-End Donations Safe and Secure

When you decide to support a cause you care about, you want your donation to count. Doing some research and planning your giving can help ensure your donations get where they’ll do good. Here are tips to help you plan your donation– and avoid scams. 

First, search online for information about the charities you are considering donating to. When searching for a specific organization, search for the charity’s name along with the words “complaint,” “review,” “rating” or “scam.”

When making the actual donation, pay attention to how you are asked to send funds. If an entity is asking for donations in cash, by gift =card or by wiring money, don’t do it. That is how scammers ask you to pay. It’s safer to pay by credit card or check. It is also a good practice to keep track of all donations and review your statements closely to make sure you are only charged for the amount you agreed to donate. Also check to ensure you have not inadvertently signed up for a recurring donation.

Understanding the tricks scammers use can help ensure you are donating to a legitimate organization.

Don’t be rushed into making a donation. That is something scammers do. Some scammers also try to trick you into paying them by thanking you for a donation you never made. Be aware that fraudulent organizations can change the Caller ID to make it appear they are calling from a local area code. If the person seeking the donation makes vague and sentimental claims about how the donation will be used but offers no specifics, that is another scammer’s trick.

If you see any red flags, or if you’re not sure about how a charity will use your donation, consider giving to a different charity. There are many worthy organizations who will use your donation wisely.

Report suspected scams to Find your state charity regulator at and report to them, too. Share any information you have – like the name of the organization or fundraiser, phone number, and what the fundraiser said.

SOURCE: Federal Trade Commission