Tips to Avoid Scams on #GivingTuesday

November 27, 2014 - Serving Seniors

Giving Tuesday is a worldwide effort to raise awareness and motivate action for the common good. Whigive tuesle the holidays are often a time to give back, it’s also a time to make sure that your financial and volunteer contributions are wisely donated. Cyber criminals capitalize on the generosity of the public and set up fake charity sites and pocket the donations. Here are some helpful tips to avoid scams and ensure you are giving to a reputable organization on Giving Tuesday.

  • Only give to a charity you know. Be suspicious of email solicitations unless you have previously provided your email address to a charity.
  • Do your research! Be on the lookout for “sound alike” charities and street-corner collectors. There are a variety of online resources that provide free access to comprehensive reports about non-profit organizations. Start with a visit to California Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts, Guidestar and Charity Navigator. Plus, go to the organization’s website and really get a good understanding of what the charity does and who benefits from your donation.
  • Do not send money to a P.O. Box. Make sure the organization has an actual street address, where you can go and see the charity in action at anytime. Also, do not send cash and do not wire money.
  • Take precaution when donating online. Be aware of fake charities advertised on social media pages. Beware of phony websites and donate though a website that is secure by looking for “https” not “http.” Also, do not open unsolicited e-mail appeals because they can be an attempt to attain important personal information.
  • Ask for tour of their location. Or even better just show up unannounced. A reputable charity would be delighted to give you a tour on the spot.
  • There should be no hard sell. A charity that can use your money today will welcome it just as much tomorrow.
  • If you think you’ve been scammed, notify the authorities immediately.

San Diego is consistently rated among the most philanthropic cities and we know residents have a kind heart.  Take these tips with you wherever you decide to give this coming Tuesday.  Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

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