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Avoid Charity Scams

In the wake of natural disasters such as the recent storms around the country and world, it is just human nature to want to lend a hand and donate to support those in need. Sadly, these evens also bring out fraudsters who try to take advantage of your generosity. Fraudulent schemes may involve contact by telephone, social media, or in-person solicitations. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cautions potential donors to avoid any charity or fund-raiser that:

If you are considering making a contribution to a charity and are unsure of its legitimacy, you can do one of the following:
  1. Go to and click on "Charities and Non-profits" at the top right of the page. Then click on "EO Select Check." Follow the instructions to search for organizations that are eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions.
  2. Use a reliable website to research the charity and how they would utilize your donation. Some websites recommended by the FTC for determining the trustworthiness of charities are the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance ( and Charity Navigator (
If you think you've been the victim of a charitable scam, you can file a complaint with the FTC at You can also visit the Commission's site for tips on what to look for when choosing a charity.

Source: Federal Trade Commission Article: Before Giving to A Charity.


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