Live 5 Scambusters: Avoiding the charity Grinch

Live 5 Scambusters: Avoiding the charity Grinch

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The season of giving is well underway, and if you plan on making charitable donations before the end of the year, make sure your money doesn’t end up in the hands of a charity Grinch.

Not everyone collecting money at the holidays is an angel, using your money to help others. Sometimes they’re only helping themselves. Before you make a donation, do your research.

If you want to find reports and ratings for specific non-profits and charitable organizations, these sites allow you to search by name:

You can also review the charity or organization through the South Carolina State Attorney’s office. Through this site you can see a charity’s revenue, expenses, and fundraiser costs. You can even see how much a charity actually uses for program services.

Before you donate, be aware of some red flags and common tricks scammers use with these Donating Dos and Don’ts:

Pay by check or credit card Pay with cash, money wire, or gift card
Take the time to research Feel pressured to give right now
Call the organization directly if you donate over the phone Assume the caller is local because the phone number could be spoofed
Check your records of past giving before donating Believe you’ve made a donation because a caller says you did

And if you find charity you believe is a scam, report it to the FTC here and to the South Carolina State Attorney’s Office here.

If you have a scam story to share, email Kyle Jordan at

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