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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.

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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