The holidays are all about giving. Most people focus primarily on giving to their friends and family members. However, there are some people out there who give as much as they can to people they don’t even know. These people want to spread as much holiday cheer as they can with as many people as possible.
While many people out there are very kindhearted, there are unfortunately some who seek to take advantage of this good natured helping. They set up fake charities to scam kind people out of their hard earned money. That is why, if a person is looking to make donations this holiday season, they need to do so carefully. That way, they can be sure that their money is going where they intended it to.
Here are a few tips from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to help you make safe and secure donations this holiday season:
- Do your research. Choose a charity carefully, and use online searches to find any complaints about the specific charity.
- Try to avoid charities that require donations to be paid solely with cash, gift cards, or wire transfers. These are all favorite methods of payments for scammers since once the money is handed over, it is gone forever.
- Keep records of all donations. This is especially important for donations made with credit or debit cards. It will allow you to make sure that only the amount you promised was taken out of your account.
- If donating through a website, make sure the donations are going to the right charity. This is especially true when clicking on links to donate. Scammers like to make their websites look like other popular sites. Always look for the padlock symbol and https in the web address.
- Don’t be rushed into making a donation. Scammers always like to rush people because it causes them to make decisions without thinking things through.