As tragedies continue to strike humanity in various dimensions, humanitarian efforts targeting alleviating the plight of victims rise. Not everyone purporting to be coordinating the reception and distribution of the donations is genuine. There has been a significant influx of scammers who use bogus websites targeting collecting personal information such as credit card to conduct criminal activity. Here are important tips on how to avoid charity scams.
Validate charity organizations
The first step before donating to a charity fund is to validate the organization’s details. There are various reputable databases available online where one can check and vet charity names and their reputations including Charity Navigator, Guidestar, and Charity Watch. If the charity coordinator’s name does not appear on either of these databases, it is most likely that they are fake and should thus be avoided.
Avoid email and phone solicits
Charity organizations that contact people through email providing links to provide their donations are most likely fake. The stakes of getting scammed in such cases get even higher in situations where one has never donated through the organization before yet gets contacted by email or phone requests for donations. Clicking such links would most likely expose an individual to malware attacks where personal information gets siphoned.
Examining the web
Most fake charity organizations create website bearing certain misspellings and slight alterations from genuine ones. Scammers also create websites with the wrong domain handle. For instance, charity organizations have website ending with .org while scammers have theirs ending with .com. Examining the history of the website regarding how recent they publish could also give an idea of their legitimacy.
Do not be carried away by photos
Whereas charity organizations often use certain thematic images, it is important to be on the lookout not to be scammed by giving as a result of empathy based on the images provided on the websites. Scammers will use the best pictures that would help ensure that the donors get as empathetic as possible.
Do not entertain house-to-house solicitors
To increase their reputation and cast out any doubt, most donation scammers have resorted to using door-to-door soliciting where they visit people in their homes to appear as though they are legitimate. Such visitors should leave behind valuable printed information that helps the donor validate their legitimacy before donating. They should also bear relevant identities from local authorities validating and permitting their door to door activities.