ALIGN reminds the community to donate wisely and avoid charity scams.
During the coronavirus lockdown, millions of dollars have been raised for charity across the country. The pandemic has delayed many key fundraising events, but this hasn’t stopped community members from raising massive amounts for charities while while still observing self-isolation rules.
Charitable communities need your support to recover during this time; however, it is important to plan the donation.
“Perhaps in the many weeks or months to come, we will look back at this time and reflect on just how much our lives, our jobs, and our daily routines all changed during the pandemic. But one thing that will not change, are the needs of our charitable communities” said ALIGN.
ALIGN reminds the community of the following tips to help plan a donation:
Research the Charity
Search for a cause you care about, like hurricane relief, food pantries, or the homeless. If you donate regularly to a charity, then consider maintaining your donation since you are comfortable with the donation process.
If you are consider giving to a specific charity, search it’s name using key words like, “compliant, reviews, ratings or scams.” Organizations such as GuideStar can help you. You can also contact the Wyoming Community Foundation and the Wyoming Nonprofit Network for assistance.
If you would like to make a donation to a national charity, field to determine if your donation is tax deductible.
Be Careful How You Pay
If someone wants donations through cash, gift card, or wiring money, don’t do it. That’s how scammers ask you to pay. Rather, pay by credit card or check.
It’s also good practice to keep a record of all your donations and review your statements closely to make sure you’re only being charged the amount you agreed to donate.
Double check you are not signed up to make recurring donations, unless you know you agreed to that.
Finally, before clicking on a link to donate online, make sure you know who is receiving your donation.
Scammers Use Tricks. Keep That in Mind
Don’t let anyone rush you into donating. That’s a tactic most scammers use. Some scammers may try and trick you into paying them by thanking you for a donation that you never made. Scammers can also change caller ID to make a call look like it’s from a local area code.
Some scammers will also use names that sound like the names of real charities, but in fact are not. Also, during this time, it is important that the elderly understand how a phone, email, or mail scam works. Take time to have this discussion with those you know who may benefit from this information.
If you notice any red flags, report them. It is better to be safe than sorry. Report scams to FTC.gov/complaint. You can also find your state charity regulator at nasconet.org and report too. Share any information you have like the name of the organization or fundraiser, phone number, and what the fundraiser said.
Doing research in advance of making your charitable donation will help ensure your money gets there safely, and most importantly, where it will do the most good!