One bitter truth in life is that bad things can happen to good people. Sometimes even your good intentions can put you in a bad situation. This is because there are people who can bear to take advantage of the misfortune of others. As unbelievable as it may sound, online swindlers also proliferate during times of crisis and disasters. By targeting people whose only intention is to help, scammers steal resources from people who need it most and at the same time put the private information of the donors at risk. To avoid being a victim of charity scams online, the following are some precautions to remember:
Do your research.
It is not a smart move to make a donation without checking the reputation of the group to receive the money. As a responsible giver, one of the first things to do is check if you are dealing with a legitimate charity or not. This does not have to be so difficult since a quick research on the web is likely to give you lots of information. Be suspicious if the group has no official website or is not in the list of registered charities. You may also see a number of reviews from people who previously worked with the group. Also, lack of information available online may signify that the charity is fake.
Trust your instinct.
No matter how good a scammer is in pretending to be reputable, there may still be telltale signs that will make you doubt its legitimacy. Instead of ignoring your instincts, it is best to address your concerns by asking questions and demanding answers. Watch out for warning signals such as pressuring you to send cash right away or ignoring important questions. It is also a big warning sign if an individual will demand you to divulge confidential information such as the PIN code of your bank account or credit card. Remember that an honest organization will be happy to provide more details about their agency and will wait until you are ready to offer a donation.
Be wary about modes of payment.
Unscrupulous individuals would probably ask you to donate via wire transfer or a gift card. They are safe ways for scammers to receive money since these payment methods will make it hard to trace the receiver. To discourage these fraudulent charities, insist on sending donations only through a cheque or a credit card.
Being proactive is a good option if you want to help without fear of being duped by dishonest people. Thus, instead of responding to emails or phone calls talking about fundraising campaigns or a donation drive, you may want to get in touch with a known charitable institution directly. You do not have to worry about being scammed if you choose to deal with a legit charity and inquire about ways on how you can send donations.
Report confirmed scammers.
A good action if ever you are certain that an organization is bogus is to warn others about it. You can also prevent the fake charity from victimizing more people by reporting it to proper authorities.
The act of giving includes making sure that your hard-earned money does not fall into the hands of the wrong people. Moreover, your decision to be vigilant and careful will ensure that your donations will reach deserving beneficiaries.