Charity Scams

fakecharitiesHTWe all want to help those in need.  Sometimes, scammers take advantage of that generosity.  Scammers can create fake charities that appear to look like a legitimate charity.  Instead of donating to a good cause – you are giving money to a thief.  Make sure you are wary of anyone who comes to your door requesting funds on behalf of a charity.

Tips to avoid scam charities

Warning signsfake-charity-scam

1) Pressure to give right now. 
2) A thank-you for a donation you don’t recall making. 
3) A request for payment by cash, gift card or wire transfer. 
Learn more from AARP

Things to check

1) Search online for the cause you care about to include phrases like “best charity” or “highly rated charity”
2) Check out the charity’s website
3) Find out if the fundraiser and the charity are registered
4) Check if the donation will be tax-deductible
5) Check how much goes to the charity versus the mission
Learn more from the Federal Trade Commission

Tools to check charities

Charity Navigator is a charity assessment organization that evaluates hundreds of thousands of charitable organizations based in the United States. It provides insights into a nonprofit’s financial stability, adherence to best practices for both accountability and transparency, and results reporting Users can search charity names to ensure they are legitimate. Also, people can search for charities that align with their interests! Learn more

CharityWatch, founded in 1992 as the American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP), is America's most independent, assertive charity watchdog. CharityWatch does not merely repeat what a charity reports using simplistic or automated formulas. We dive deep to let you know how efficiently a charity will use your donation to fund the programs you want to support. CharityWatch exposes nonprofit abuses and advocates for your interests as a donor. Learn more

PROTECT services 

Placer PROTECT has a wealth of services to stay up-to-date on any scams. From an email alert system, to a fraud hotline -- PROTECT has you covered! Learn more