Better Business Bureau Serving the Northwest is reminding donors to be wary of charity fraud this holiday season.
Charity fraud varies from a scammer posing as a reputable charity to a misrepresentation of how much money actually goes to the charity’s clients. There have been over 100 more scams reported to BBB Scam Tracker this year compared to 2016 with a loss of nearly $380,000, $140,000 more than 2016. Charity scammers often take advantage of the holiday giving season since American charities receive one-third of their annual donations during this time of year.
BBB is reminding donors to make the most of their generosity this holiday season with these giving tips:
Watch out for look-a-likes. Organizations with name similarities could either be a charity who supports the same cause or a bogus charity using a similar name to a reputable organization. Consumers should research the exact name of the charity to avoid a case of mistaken identity.
Avoid high-pressure emails and phone calls. Donation requests are common around the holidays, but consumers should avoid emotional pleas and high-pressure emails and phone calls, especially when organizations pressure them to make an immediate decision.
Be wary of charities that don’t disclose. Although participation is voluntary, charities that don’t disclose any of the requested information to BBB Wise Giving Alliance should raise a critical red flag for donors.
Start with trust. Charities can demonstrate they are trustworthy by agreeing to in-depth evaluations such as the 20 BBB Stands for Charity Accountability. Consumers can get free access to charity reports at give.org.