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Beware of Fake Charities

July 3, 2018 by OSYB Staff

Tips to Spot Charity Scams

As hurricane season approaches, there is often times an uptick in schemes to scam well-intentioned people moved to help when a disaster occurs. Henry+Horne has some guidelines for protecting yourself from fake charities and ensuring that your thoughtful donations are received and used by legitimate organizations doing worthwhile work to help victims.  Check out these tips to ensure your donations are going to the right places and protect your personal information:

  • Look carefully at a charity’s name.  Phony charities may use names almost identical to familiar or nationally known organizations.   If you are not careful enough to distinguish the nuances in the name or website, you could be scammed.  To protect yourself use the search feature on the IRS.gov website to find the qualified charities and at the same time find out if your donations to these charities may be tax-deductible.
  • Never give out your personal financial information unless you have checked the credentials of the organization.  Most importantly, know that charity groups do not need your social security number to accept a donation or to send you a tax-deductible receipt for your donation.
  • Never make a cash donation.  Use check or credit card after verifying the organzation.  You want to make a donation in a way that you are able to document that the donation was made.

Before you make a donation consider perusing IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, available on IRS.gov. to be aware of tax deductible contribution regulations and the required documentation.  If you suspect fraud, report it to IRS.Gov on their Report Phishing and Online Scams page.

For more details:  Scammers setting up fake charities – again!

Image Credit:  Deposit Photos