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Charity Scams: Beware of Fake Foundations

Making a positive impact on the community by donating to a favorite cause is important and can make you feel good. Unfortunately, where good is found, bad is often lurking around the corner. Scammers thrive during seasons of giving and here are some scams you need to be aware of and consider before opening your wallet to potential thieves.

  1. The Sob Story Scam. Have you ever received an email or seen a Facebook post about a poor kitten with big, sad eyes? Beware – it could be a trap. Check out the organization thoroughly before donating.
  2. Pop-Up Pandemic Charities. Fake charities surged in 2020, baiting people with “miracle cures” and “urgent PPE supplies”. Always check if the charity is registered and has a good track record before donating
  3. “Phishy” Emails. Some emails pretend to be legitimate charities but are really after your personal info and money. Be extra cautious with email links and don’t give away your account information to anyone
  4. Pushy Telemarketers. Scam callers will use pressure and guilt to convince you to give. Some can be very pushy, and even rude. If someone is giving you the hard sell on the phone, take a deep breath and hang up. Reputable charities won’t pressure you into donating. Take the time to research the organization and make sure your money is going where it should.
  5. Sketchy Social Media Campaigns. Scrolling through your feed, you might come across campaigns that tug at your heart strings. Double-check hashtags and verify the charity is real before clicking that “donate” button.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re thinking about giving to charity.

  1. Protect Your Personal Info. Keep your guard up when sharing personal details. A charitable organization has no need for your social security number or account information.
  2. Do Your Homework. Look up the charity’s name, check if they’re registered, and read reviews or news articles about their work. If it feels like a big secret, that’s a red flag.
  3. Give Smart. Think of your donation as an investment in making the world better. Give to charities with a proven track record, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about where your money is going.
  4. Report Suspected Scams! Don’t be shy about reporting suspicious activity. You’ll help protect others and maybe even save someone from getting scammed.

Remember to call NorthCountry Federal Credit Union if things seem suspicious, or you are worried about losing your money to a scam. Our team of employees is here to help you keep your money safe.