Tell Tale Signs of Fake Charity Collections

Did you know that Americans gave more than $ $449 billion to charitable organizations in 2019? There’s no denying that we love the idea of providing for the less fortunate via charities and nonprofits. However, this all-around generous spirit and goodwill makes it easy for many fraudulent organizations to cheat people out of their money.

Phony nonprofit organizations and fraudulent charity collections can solicit money from you under the guise of a charitable cause. With that said, there are some signs of fake charity collections that you can learn to detect a fraudulent charity from a mile away and ensure that you don’t fall victim to their tactics.

Let’s explore some tell-tale signs of fraudulent charities so that you can protect your money from them and donate it to legitimate organizations!

4 Signs of Fake Charity Collections

Here are some clear signs of fake charities:

1. Lack of Information on the Organization

According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are more than 1.54 million nonprofits licensed in the US. Given the sheer number of charities, it can be a bit challenging to spot a fake charity from a real one. However, one way to make certain that the charity approaching you is real is to look them up online.

Figure out if the organization has a legitimate web presence. Even fake charities create a website to scam people into giving them money. Some tell-tale signs of fake charity collections include misspellings in their website’s URL and content, phony-looking emails, and minimal or no social media presence.

Such a fake organization can also use a slightly altered title resembling a real charity to fool unsuspecting people into believing they are a legitimate organization. Many shams cleverly keep all the details the same except for changing the address to which you send your donations.

2. Guilt-Tripping and Pressure Tactic

You don’t expect a selfless nonprofit organization to strong-arm you into giving donations to them. However, a fake charity will do exactly that! They will rush you to make a decision without giving you the time to think or check their legitimacy. They might also resort to guilt-tripping and pressurizing you into making a generous donation. A fake charity will cajole, shame, and even force you into giving money to them. They will clearly imply that you are selfish for failing to donate.

3. Ambiguity and Evasion

A charitable agency is always as transparent and forthcoming about its cause, mission statement, and origins as possible. After all, their honesty, integrity, and passion are what drive people to donate to their cause. However, a fraudulent charity will not be forthcoming about its cause or mission statement.

If you believe that you’re contacted by a fraudulent charity, ask them comprehensive and specific questions, such as:

  • Are you licensed or registered?
  • Will my donation be tax-deductible?
  • Do you receive federal funding?
  • Can I obtain more information about you?
  • Who is your CEO?
  • What is your nonprofit’s target demographic and annual operating budget?
  • What are your goals and implementation strategies?

If they are unclear about their answers or make excuses, you should not trust them with your hard-earned money. A legitimate charity will know the answers to these questions and will be more than willing to divulge the information for a charitable donation from your end.

4. Odd Donation Arrangements

Real charities provide you with various easy ways to donate money to them, such as credit card, PayPal, automatic transfer, check, money order, etc. However, if you are approached by a charity that insists on receiving cash donations, think twice before making that donation. Cash solicitation is one of the ultimate signs of fake charity collections.

Be even more vary if the organization presses you for divulging your financial or personal information, such as your bank account or routing numbers, Social Security Number, or other details that can compromise your identity.

Use the aforementioned signs of a fake charity to protect yourself from fraudulent organizations. If you have information about a fraud charity duping people out of their money, get in touch with FraudTrac.  Together we can protect ourselves from these shams!

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