The IRS is joining an international coalition in launching the second annual International Charity Fraud Awareness Week. The coalitional will raise awareness and share practices to help charities and other not-for-profit organizations avoid fraud and stop financial crime. Joining forces means more people and charities can be reached to give information and advice. Money lost to bogus charities and scammers means less donations to help those that really need it.
Fake charities are one of the IRS Dirty Dozen tax scams for 2019. These scammers mislead the public about providing assistance to particular individuals like veterans or cancer patients, they use robocalls misrepresenting that the message is for a real charity or for-profit corporation. Donors also need to be on guard when responding to appeals in the wake of a disaster.
While there are a number of ways to check out charitable organizations, it is difficult to vet individuals requesting help on crowdfunding sites such as GoFundMe.
HOW TO AVOID CHARITY SCAMS
Spot Imposters: Scammers often pretend to be a charity you trust or a company you do business with.
Keep Scammers Tricks In Mind: Do not let anyone rush you into making a donation, that is something scammers do.
Guaranteed Sweepstakes Winnings: Guaranteeing a sweepstakes winnings in exchange for a donation is not only a scam, it is illegal.
Do Online Searches: The charity’s website should provide access to information on its programs. 40 of the 50 states require charities to register with the attorney general’s office or secretary of their state.
Do Not Believe Your Caller ID: Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see may not be real.
Hang Up On Robocalls: If you answer the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up and report it to the FTC. These calls are illegal. Do not press 1 to speak to a person or to be taken off the list, that could lead to more calls. Register your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry at donotcall.gov. If you receive unwanted calls after your number has been registered for 31 days you may file a report.
If you spot a scam or have been a victim of a charity scam you can report it at ftc.gov/Complaint. By sharing your experience, you can help others avoid falling victim to similar scams.
For more information about the second annual International Charity Fraud Awareness Week or if you would like to download resource, visit BBB Wise Giving Alliance’s website at Give.org, for smart giving tips visit FTC.gov/Charity.