Have you ever gotten an email from a Nigerian prince who wants you to give him money? If you have not, that email is coming at some point.
Charity scams are fairly common. The people running them are willing to exploit some peoples’ want to help out and give back to the community. If you are one of those people who want to give to a charity, good for you. It takes a rare kind of person to donate and help out.
However, it is always a good idea to be in the know before you throw your money at the nearest cause.
There are a few simple common sense points to follow:
First and foremost – if the person soliciting you does not have any real information regarding its organization, you are probably getting scammed. Ask the solicitor about the details: the name of the organization, where it is located, its phone number, the name of the solicitor, and, most importantly, how much of your contribution actually goes to the fund itself. If the solicitor will not give this information, chances are you are getting had (http://www.ehow.com/how_2172014_protect-yourself-marketing-scams.html).
Also, if guilt is a factor in the solicitation, do not give. Often times, scammers will utilize the guilt of those who want to help in order to get their money.
Thirdly, get in the know about the specific charity. Check the watchdog organizations that look over charities. There should be information about the charity you are giving to (http://www.solanomag.com/Solano-Magazine/Finance/Charitable-Giving/Protecting-Yourself-When-You-Give/ whole page). For the sake of saying it, never, ever, ever give away your credit card number, account number, or social security number to anyone over the phone. No real charity will ever ask for this information.
Giving to charities is never a wrong thing to do. In fact, it is one of the most rewarding places your funds can go to. However, do not become the needy yourself by giving your important information to fraudulent charities. Contact your local Better Business Bureau if you think you are a target of a charity scheme. You can also contact Project Know Fraud by calling 1-877-987-3728 to report a fraud (http://www.ehow.com/how_2172014_protect-yourself-marketing-scams.html bottom of page).