Charity Season: Make Sure You Aren’t Being Scammed

Charity Season: Make Sure You Aren't Being ScammedThe season of giving is among us. Christmastime is the time of the year when most donations are made. We feel the need a little more this time of year to help those less fortunate and the charities know it! Every charity seems to pop out of the woodwork to ask for our donations. To protect your money it is important that you do your research before making your donation.

Before you open your wallet – check out these tips to make sure your money is going to the cause you want to donate to.

How To Keep Your Donation Scam-Free

Unfortunately there are well-known organizations that collect more cash than what they contribute to the cause they say they support. To sniff those organizations out, here are some questions to ask:

• Where is my donation going?
• How much of  my donation actually goes in support of the cause?
• If only a percentage of your donation goes to the cause, ask what happens with the rest of it.

You can also check out these websites to look at various charity efficiency ratings and their tax exemption status:
Charity Navigator
Charity Watch
GiveWell

How to Spot A Charity Scam

There are plenty of fraudsters out there eager to get their hands on your money. To prevent yourself from being scammed, look out for these warning signs:

• Refuse or provide vague information about how the donation will be used
• Are not able to provide proof that your contribution is tax deductible
• Their name resembles another well-known organization’s name
• They pressure you to donate right away, not at a later time when you feel comfortable
• They ask you to wire money
• There is a sweepstakes winning involved
• They thank you for a donation that you have not made

If you believe you have been scammed or there is a charity out there you think is a scam, report it!

Chime in below!  Do you feel a greater need to donate during the holiday season or do you donate year round?  What is your favorite charity to support?  Do you feel too much pressure to give during the holiday season because you’re already on a tight budget trying to support your family?

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