Scammers And Frauds Are Everywhere – But You Can Outsmart Them This Holiday Season
I don't know if you've been keeping track of it lately, but it seems like scamming and fraud are in the local news a lot more these days.
In fact, just the last couple of weeks, there's been a few instances in the reports of people getting scammed out of almost five grand. And some people are trying to get away with passing bad bills in Marshall. Heck, even I got an email from the "Coronavirus Jobkeeping Office" just the other day. They only wanted a photocopy of my driver's license and Medicare card!
What's next? Well, could be you. Ya gotta be careful about your money and who you're giving it to, especially this holiday season. They're out, they're ready, and they're willing to lie through their teeth.
And some of 'em, well, they'll fight dirty. Really dirty. Like, 'pretending to help vulnerable people or sick children' dirty. Charities tend to raise a lot of their money this time of year. So if you get a phone call from a charity you don't recognize, watch out. Here are a few signs that it might not be on the up and up.
1. They only offer vague information about what they do, and where your money will go. Get specifics. Examples. If they're legit, they'll have plenty.
2. They can't prove your donation will be tax deductible. There are a few types of LEGIT non-profits where donations aren't tax deductible, and you also can't deduct donations to political campaigns. But if that's the case, they should be upfront about it.
3. Their name resembles a well-known organization, but it's SLIGHTLY different. Like instead of the World Wildlife Fund, they're called the "WORLDWIDE Wildlife Fund". Which I just made up, but you get the point. It's just that easy to be just a scosh off.
4. They thank you for making a pledge or a previous donation that you don't remember making. Don't just take their word for it and assume you forgot.
5. They push REALLY hard to get you to donate right away. Which is a tough one, because it seems like half of REAL charities do that too.
If you're ever in doubt, you can go to any of these three websites. And if it's a real charity, it should be listed on at least one of them: Give.org, CharityWatch.org, and GuideStar.org.
Stay safe out there!