Online charity scams exposed!
Thanks for visiting scammer alert! My name is Frank Matthews. On this site I expose the truth about online money making scams, and give the straight dope on the legitimate ones. I have been following online money making scams since 1998 and exposing the truth behind them. Over the years I have explored virtually every scam online.
Learning to avoid charity scams
This is quite possibly the most underhanded, disgusting type of money making scam out there! Charity scams and frauds have always been a problem, but in the last 10 years fraudsters have taken charity scams to a whole new level. Charity fraud is a widespread problem, and these thieves primarily prey on senior citizens, and those of us with a big heart. To make matters worse they use the same collection techniques that real legitimate charities use. This makes it very difficult for someone like you or me to tell the difference.
Scammers running these fake charities ramped up their activities and went worldwide after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York, and most recently the Tsunami in Japan. Typically after a disaster of that magnitude, people are in a giving mood. This is a scammers big chance to make a lot of money off of other peoples tragedies. You probably noticed it too. Hundreds of charities sprung up overnight. They were all designed for the same reason, to take your cash and give back nothing to the people they were supposedly trying to help. This was a money making scheme on a world wide level, and these scammers had no problem using a terribly horrific event to make a profit. It is sickening!
It didn't end with 9/11 though, it still goes on!
Charity scam artists create fictitious charities and make them look legitimate by using words like Christian, Children, or Homeless in the name of the organization. They do this to tug at your heart strings, and empty your wallet. Senior citizens are the "bread and butter" for charity scammers. Because senior citizens are generally caring people, have little experience with technologically advanced fraud, and often have a little cash laying around the house, they are a prime target. Charity scammers take advantage of their good will and often times will show up at their door asking money for their fake charity. They have no problem smiling to your face while they steal your money.
Don't let that scare you away from donating!
Giving donations to charities is not only a good thing to do, it's the right thing to do. There are many charities that make the world a better place for everyone. Charities do change peoples lives for the better. Here are some things you can do for before you donate to that charity.
- Investigate the charity if you have never heard of them before. Ask for some brochures or any sort of printed material they have. Any legitimate charity organization should have no problem telling you how they help people, in writing. If the charity avoids yours request, consider donating elsewhere.
- Never donate over the phone. I hate to say this because many legitimate charities will contact you by phone, however the most common method for scamming people is phone solicitations. Request that the charity send you some literature and then contact them if you are ready to donate. Never give your bank account information out over the phone.
- Put your phone number on the Do Not Call List. This will greatly reduce the number of phone solicitations you receive, but it will not stop real registered charities from calling you. Legitimate charities are exempt from the Do Not Call List.
- Never mail a check. Direct mailings are one of the most common outlets for scamming people. Many of these fraudulent charities will send out personalized address labels, calendars, or other small items. This is to make you feel obligated to donate, after all they gave something to you for free and you should give something back, right? Don't fall for it. You are not obligated to give anything to them, they sent you something you didn't ask for.
- Hang up on high pressure sales tactics. You should never be under any pressure to give your money to a charity. Just like any purchase you should do your research and decide for yourself. If they get pushy or high pressure just walk away, hang up or end the conversation.
Before you donate even a penny to any charity, determine how they spend they money you donate. If all of their money goes to paying employee salaries and not helping people, then its a waste. Even legitimate charities have money management problems. Research the charity. If less than 65% of their money goes toward charitable causes, don't bother. Give your money to someone who will use it to benefit others. A good place to research charities is the Charity Navigator website.
Charities are fantastic, but you owe it to everyone to spend your money wisely. Just giving your money to the first charity that calls you up or rings your doorbell isn't doing anyone any favors.