Sadly, the Las Vegas shooting is no exception. The FTC has heard from people about suspicious requests for donations. A little research will help you avoid a scam and ensure that your gift goes to a reputable charity that will use the money as you intend.
To avoid charity scams, consider these tips before you give:
- Donate to charities you know and trust with a proven track record. Check out the charity with the Better Business Bureau's (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, or GuideStar.
- Be alert for charities that seem to have sprung up overnight in connection with current events. Check them out before you send money.
- Search the charity’s name online. Do people say it’s a scam?
- Don’t assume that pleas for help posted on crowdfunding sites or social media are legitimate. Real victims’ pictures and stories can be misused to con you.
- Don’t click on links or open attachments in emails. You could unknowingly install malware on your computer or be taken to a look-alike website for a fake charity. Look up the charity’s web address and type it in yourself.
- When texting to donate, confirm the number on the charity’s website.
- Designate the event or cause you want your funds to be used for, unless you are okay with the money being used in other ways.
Report scams to FTC.gov/complaint.