Translate Our Site

Charity Scams

Information about Charity Scams.

How It Works

Someone contacts you asking for a donation to their charity. It sounds like a group you’ve heard of, it seems real, and you want to help.

How can you tell what charity is legitimate and what’s a scam? Scammers want your money quickly. Charity scammers often pressure you to donate right away. They might ask for cash, and might even offer to send a courier or ask you to wire money. Scammers often refuse to send you information about the charity, give you details, or tell you how the money will be used. They might even thank you for a pledge you don’t remember making.

How to Prevent It

Take your time. Tell callers to send you information by mail. For requests you get in the mail, do your research. Is it a real group? What percentage of your donation goes to the charity? Is your donation tax-deductible? How do they want you to pay? Rule out anyone who asks you to send cash or wire money. Chances are, that’s a scam.

If you lost money you should act immediately:

  • Call the gift card or debit card company immediately. The contact number is on the back of the card. If reported immediately, you may be able to stop the transfer of funds, otherwise it may not be possible to stop the funds from being withdrawn. It is also important to alert the card company of fraud.
  • If you sent cash, report it immediately to the postal service or whatever company you used. If you act quickly you may be able to stop delivery by giving the tracking number to the delivery company.
  • If you wired the money, contact the wire service company and report the fraud.
  • If you provided your bank account information or sent a check, contact your financial institution and place a stop payment on the check and alert them of the fraud.
  • If you gave personal information to the scammer you may be subject to identity theft. Learn what to do.
  • Report the scam to the Attorney General’s Office Toll Free 1-844-255-9210
  • Report scams to the Federal Trade Commission: Report Now