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Charity Fraud

Throughout the year—and especially during the holidays, after a natural disaster, or following a tragic event—legitimate charitable organizations make public appeals for contributions to a good cause. However, scammers often take advantage of these times to exploit your good nature. Not only do you lose the money you donated, but the real charities never get the much-needed donation. Make sure your money goes where you want it to go.

Ukrainian Charity Scams

During times of crisis we all want to assist, but fraudsters also use unfortunate events to lure you in to giving to a fake charity. They will often pressure you to send money fast and not check with reputable sources, playing on your giving nature to donate right away. They may even refuse to send information about the charity…why? Because it likely doesn’t legitimately exist. Do your research before giving any funds, to ensure your hard-earned money goes to those in need and not to a fraudster

Charity Fraud

Charity fraud relies on false claims and vulnerable targets. Watch to learn more about how to avoid this scam.

The Perfect Pitch (Charity Fraud/Magazine Subscription)

A duo of scammers used fake charities to lure this woman into equally phony magazine subscriptions. Watch to learn more.

Protect Yourself From Charity Scams

  • Check for authenticity

    Check the authenticity of the organization through Charity Navigator or the Better Business Bureau before sending money.

  • Examine charity name carefully

    Look at the name of the charity carefully. Some charity schemes use similar names.

  • Never donate cash

    Never donate cash. Make checks payable to the organization–never an individual.

  • Don't feel pressured

    Don’t feel pressured to give money on the spot. Most charities would be happy to send you further information about their organization.

  • Ask for annual reports

    If you are unfamiliar with the charity, ask to see its annual report and financial statement. If the organization is unwilling to provide these, you should be immediately suspicious.

Have You Witnessed This Scam?

If you’ve been affected by a charity scam and the U.S. Mail® has been used in any way, we want to help. Please report fraud activity by a charity organization using the link below.

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