Avoid Charity Fraud and Scams: Online and Off, Make Sure Your Donations Go Where Intend
By Regina Garson, Magic Stream PublisherIn the week following just about any major disaster there will be a flood of disaster related domains registered. Many are legit, and set up to help collect relief money in the aftermath of disaster. Others are not. Cyber crime rises after a natural disaster, and this includes phony charities and cyber looting. Sites pop up all over the Internet to collect funds and donations for victims.
At certain times of our life, generally at the worst of times in health or other disaster, sooner or later we all need the help of someone else to survive. We all know that. Whether it is a friend, a family member, church or public assistance, we trust that the help will be there when we need it. Charitable organizations are an organized way for assistance to be granted, they most definitely serve a need in our world today. In times of disaster they can't always do it all, and it is human nature to want to do want we can, to lend a hand, to help as we are able. That does not, however, mean we should be any less prudent in our giving than in the other ways we spend our money. These scams flourish in the knowledge that in a time of disaster our heart strings will tug, and we will let down our guard as our checkbooks emerge. And very often we do.
The FTC provides some general tips to remember when donating to chariity or for a specific disaster:
The FTC provides resources to use to educate yourself in avoiding charity fraud and information on how to file a complaint. In many ways street smarts are your best online protection.
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Regina Garson, Publisher
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