CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charity regulators around the world are sending out alerts before the holiday giving season as part of International Charity Fraud Awareness Week from Oct. 21-25.
Before sending money or handing over cash, it’s always important to do your homework to make sure you know where the money is going.
The Federal Trade Commission has several good references to use when it comes to spotting charity scams and finding real charities to support. A good place to start by looking up reports on charities and their ratings at the following websites:
If you can’t find a charity’s name on those websites, try searching for the charity online with words like scam, fraud, or complaint.
Just because a charity’s name looks familiar, it may not support the cause it claims. This happens a lot with charities that appear to support veterans and our military. The FTC has more about Operation Donate with Honor here.
When you are donating, be careful how you pay. If you’re asked to send gift cards or wire money, walk away or hang up the phone. That’s a sure sign of a scam. Pay with a credit card, but don’t give out that number to a charity cold-calling you on the phone.
If you’ve been a victim of charity fraud or any type of scam, report it at ftc.gov/complaint.
If you have a scam story to share, email Kyle Jordan at Scams@live5news.com.