Watch Out For Charity Fraud

I try to support as many charities as I can, particularly with regard to veterans.  But unfortunately, one always has to do some “due diligence” before donating.

One of the best sources I’ve found for checking a charity is the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance ( https://www.give.org/ ).  Recently I’ve received an email from them that I think is worth sharing.  For what it’s worth, here are the email’s main points —

“No one likes to be a victim of fraud, and that is especially true when it comes to charity fraud….

“Regrettably, generous folks wishing to support veterans’ charities in particular are often the targets of fraud. Sham veterans’ charities are created to prey on Americans’ generosity, patriotism, and desire to support those who are fighting or have fought for our country. They promise to send care packages and phone cards, or help wounded veterans here at home, but very little, if any, of your donations actually help anyone but the fundraisers.
“Fortunately, there are law enforcement agencies in the U.S. that try to protect donors like you from charity fraud. The Federal Trade Commission has launched a crackdown of veterans charity fraud through Operation Donate with Honor. On the law enforcement side, they are working with State Attorneys General offices and state charity regulators. On the education side they are also working with the BBB Wise Giving Alliance.
“If you are solicited by a charity that you are not sure about, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Do your research; make sure your money counts. Go to Give.org to find a report on a charity that has solicited you.

Be wary of excessive pressure to give. Don’t feel you must give an on-the-spot donation. Charities should welcome your gift whenever you want to send it.

Look for a clear description of the organization’s programs. If the group says they help veterans, does it explain how (financial assistance, shelter, and counseling)?

Watch out for name confusion. Many veterans groups include almost the same words in different order – sometimes for the purpose of hoping a donor will believe they are giving to a more well-known group.

File a complaint!! The FTC, State charity officials, and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance will all record your complaint against a charity that you believe you have been contacted by a fraudulent charity. Use the websites to file a complaint about an organization you believe may be a scam.”

Don’t see the charity you are looking for? Click Here!

FTC Complaint Assistant

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