Charity Scams

Published on November 12th, 2013

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Take Steps to Safely Donate to Typhoon Haiyan Victims

Consumers wishing to donate money to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan that struck the Philippines Nov. 8 should follow these steps to help ensure that their donations are actually going to relief efforts and not scammers:

  • Before committing to give, gather as much information as you can about a particular charity.
  • Search for information online through websites such as Wise Giving AllianceGuidestar, Independent Sector, American Institute of Philanthropy and the National Association of State Charity Officials.
  • If you are contacted over the phone, ask for written documentation. If the caller says there aren’t any written materials the charity can send, that is a warning flag it may not be legitimate.
  • Do not give in to any high-pressured tactics such as asking you to send cash or give away bank information.
  • Be especially wary of any charity that pops up in the wake of a natural disaster. Generally, it’s better to give to an established organization that has the infrastructure to get help where it’s needed. A list of organizations that are helping Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts can be found here.

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

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