Charity Scams

Published on June 13th, 2016

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Helping Orlando Shooting Victims

Americans looking for ways to donate to help the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting, which was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, need to be wary of scammers trying to take advantage of their charitable inclination. Several organizations are already collecting money and many have posted on crowdfunding sites.  It can be difficult to choose. Here’s what you need to do before you give:

  • Gather as much information as you can about a particular charity before donating. A key question to ask is what percentage of the money is spent on helping victims versus how much is spent on fundraising efforts/overhead. Search for information online through websites such as:
  • If you are contacted over the phone, ask for written documentation. Ask to be removed from their contact list if they refuse to send you more details in the mail.
  • Don’t give in to any high-pressured tactics and don’t agree to send cash or give away bank information.
  • Check if a crowdfunding site vets charities before distributing the money raised.
  • Give to an established organization that has the infrastructure to get help where it’s needed and be wary of giving donations directly via social media.

If you believe that a fake charity has contacted you or if you have been a victim of a charity scam, you can contact your local State Attorney General’s office, as well as the FTC, and file a complaint.

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