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.
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.Report Now