Don’t be fooled by charity scams

November 12, 2014

As the festive season approaches, many organisations and private individuals are looking for ways to make a difference. No one wants to see their gift fall into the hands of a poorly run, or even fraudulent setup. So how do you make sure that your chosen charity is a legitimate organisation?

 

Do your research:

A legitimate charity organisation operates in an effective, efficient and transparent way. The organisation will have no problem producing a tax exemption certificate, confirming their non-profit status. A legitimate organisation will probably also invite you to come and view their facilities and the work that they do.

 

Have them checked:

You may even go as far as to contact a verification company or agency, who can perform a quick and effective background check. A legitimate organisation would welcome the opportunity. With so many scams out there, legitimate organisations have to compete with fly-by-nights, and are only to willing to help eradicate those that are operating illegally.

 

Telephone and email solicitations:

If a charity approaches you telephonically or via email, make sure that they send you all their printed documentation before you make any donation. Fly-by-night scammers are not likely to have any materials. Never provide a credit card or bank account number over the phone and never respond to email solicitations unless you know the organisation.

 

Making donations:

Rather make the donation through electronic banking than handing out cash to those come to your door or stand around shopping centres. You can also go to the charity’s website and look for a secured page where you can donate safely.

 

Benefits to you:

Not only will donating to a charity provide you with a feeling of empowerment, it is also a tax deductable contribution.

 

Giving your time:

If you do not have the money to give, consider donating your time to a cause that you feel is important. A legitimate charity will be only too happy for the extra help. Find out if your charity has a shop and consider clothing and furniture donations to help them make a little extra cash ahead of the festive season.

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