How to avoid charity impersonation scams in times of crisis


Whether it’s an effort to support women’s rights or gun control, fight climate change or help Ukrainian refugees, more Americans are giving to charity this year in response to global challenges.

However, there are just as many scammers trying to capitalize on the current environmental, social and geopolitical unrest.

“Any time there’s something that is in the spotlight, there are going to be folks that are taking advantage of that,” said Kevin Scally, chief relationship officer at Charity Navigator, which independently evaluates and rates nonprofits.

Charity impersonation scams can be hard to spot

Bad actors who impersonate charities prey upon the good will and generosity of donors.

Yael Fuchs

president of the National Association of State Charity Officials

“Bad actors who impersonate charities prey upon the good will and generosity of donors using well known causes such as cancer, veterans and local firefighters” Yael Fuchs, president of the National Association of State Charity Officials, wrote. “Using high pressure tactics to tug at the heart strings of consumers to compel a donation on the spot, these bad actors intend to leave no time for the consumer to research their claims before agreeing to donate.”

In the end, donors pay a high price, “High volume soliciting using direct mail or telemarketing make these scams profitable and can result in millions of dollars in charitable assets lost to fraudulent charitable solicitations.”

5 ways you can avoid charity scams

To make sure your money gets into the right hands, Scally offers these tips to avoid charity scams:

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