It is possible to become a victim of charity scams by making online donations to charities, claiming to benefit a great cause. These scams typically involve fake organizations that do little or no work and use the money they collect to pad their own pockets. Many of these scams occur during the holiday season or during times of crisis. To avoid becoming a victim, you should research any organization you give to and ask for detailed information about them. If possible, give to legitimate, well-established charities.
Avoiding a Scam While Making Online Donations
Among the most common ways to avoid a charity scam while making online donations is to research your chosen charity first. Be suspicious if you receive emails requesting money that are unwelcome or ask for personal details that are not necessary. Don’t give money to charities that request this information repeatedly, and always check your financial information before giving. If you receive any of these scams, it is possible to cancel the transaction, get your money back, or report the scam to your card issuer. To ensure that you’re dealing with a legitimate organization, look for its website address.
When making online donations, be sure to use a credit card or a check. Be sure to make the check out to the charity, and never to an individual. Also, when making donations online, make sure to use a secure connection. HTTPS (hypertext transfer protocol secure) is a good sign. HTTPS secures your transaction by encrypting sensitive information before sending it to the server. You should also avoid opening any suspicious emails or clicking on links within them. Such emails may contain malicious files or grammatical errors.
Spotting a Scammer
You may suspect a charity is a scammer if you’ve received an unsolicited email from a charitable organization asking you to submit your financial information. However, if you’re suspicious of a suspicious charity, you can easily spot an impostor by checking the organization’s account. A legitimate charity has a blue checkmark symbol on its profile page. Fake charities often take a legitimate entity’s name and add a single letter or character or symbol to it. If you’re unsure, don’t click on the link.
Be wary of charities who ask you to wire money, use gift cards, or send cash. These methods of payment are not traceable, so don’t send money to unknown people. Don’t ever provide personal information, including your name or address, because scammers will use it to steal your identity. Regardless of whether you’re dealing with a legitimate charity, you’ll want to verify that the organization you’re dealing with accepts credit cards and PayPal payments. There are many legitimate charitable organizations in the world like transparent hands that accept online donations with a secure online method. This crowdfunding platform makes sure that its donors enjoy 100% transparency at all levels.
One common scam is receipt fraud during online donations. The phony donor makes a large donation and later says he or she meant to give a smaller amount or asks for a refund of the entire donation. The nonprofit is caught off guard and decides not to refund the entire amount. But what if you do find a fraudulent receipt? Here’s what to do:
Be suspicious of soliciting emails asking for money from strangers. Some scammers use this opportunity to steal your identity and money. So, if someone asks you to donate money through cash or gift cards, do not fall for their scams. Instead, use credit cards or checks. Never provide your personal information online, and check your bank statement to make sure you’re not making a recurring payment. Don’t be tempted to give large sums to unknown charities without checking their authenticity first.
One of the easiest ways to avoid phishing scams during online donations is to do a bit of research about the organization. Don’t give to someone who pressures you to give right away. The legitimate organization you’re donating to won’t use this kind of high-pressure tactics. Be wary of requests for payment by wire transfer, cash, or gift card, as these are difficult to trace. Also, don’t give your credit card information, as scammers can use this information to steal your identity.
Phishing is a problem that has become so widespread that it’s hard to protect yourself. Scammers impersonate individuals and companies using VoIP technology. In order to avoid phishing scams, you’ll want to use a strong password and protect yourself from these malicious emails. Tiffany Tucker, a systems engineer at Chelsea Technologies, tells us why companies are prone to these attacks.