Signs of Charitable Fraud

Posted on: April 21st, 2010 by

Charitable Donations - Accountant - Rockville, MDScammers are always looking for opportunities to make a profit.  They exploit tragedy, capitalizing off people’s generosity and loss, hurting not only the donors, but the recipients as well.  Don’t let your well intentioned contribution get swallowed up by fraudsters.  Look for the clues they give away to indicate that their racket is just that, a racket.  On the spot donations tend to be a clear sign that someone is scamming.  Don’t let a heart felt story, followed by an immediate demand for cash have you fooled.  We all should know by now that, for tax purposes, we need to get receipts for all of our charitable donations, so if they cannot provide documentation, you probably should not be donating to them.  If the charity dodges questions, you can most certainly bet that there is some type of fraud going on.  Charities usually not only welcome questions, but encourage your curiosity about its origin and financial distributions.  Also, watch out for email requests from charities.  A lot of those links contain viruses that are meant to secure your personal financial information.  Go directly to the charity’s umbrella website if you wish to donate online.  Lastly, attorney generals suggest not giving cash and making the check out to the charity using its full name and not to the fundraiser, and to mail the check directly to the charity.

When disaster strikes, its prime hunting season for scammers.  Make sure that you protect your finances and good intentions by investigating the charity and questioning the solicitor.  Be aware that text donations don’t occur immediately, and may take as long as 30-90 days before it gets to the appropriate recipient.  Consider sticking with organizations that are well known and clearly state where your money is going to go.  And, finally, make sure you always get a receipt; your accountant will thank you.



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