The long list of creative ways how scams work now have another name. I am saying this now just because it is new to this blog, but it is absolutely not new as a threat. The same scam has been evident since the ancient times.
To be more clear, most of us know that kind of person who misuses the generosity of others for its very own egoism. To not forget to mention that most generous people don’t even look back where their money is going when they decide to make a donation. These types of scams know this well, and they have decided to use it. To their own profit.
Therefore today I decided to give some more attention to this fraudulent activity for which I am sure not all of you are aware of. From my personal experience to how to recognize it and 6 tips on how to avoid it. Let’s deep in!
Personal Experience with Fake Charities
I, for example, have had a classmate in the high school who one day started to collect a certain amount of money from each and everyone in the class for the sake of the “entrance charges for the whole class together” to the next school party. And sure enough everyone started to pay those few euros and we were waiting for the party to take place.
The guy who took the money had spent them on marijuana and turned out he never even had a plan for a party. In other classes in the same school I attended there were reports of students using almost the same agenda to collect money, but there were others also that went to people in the name of a charity. This was very little known back then and absolutely unexpected by teenagers.
However, the activity has been exercised and even mastered by many. There is a long list of charities who operate as such while their background says nothing but money laundry.
Why Fraud in Charities
The clear intention of all this fraud is purely for one’s profit, and surely not for others less likely to the ones in need for what the money was supposed to go. The question is: Why do they choose charities?
The word charity basically means “ the voluntary giving of help”, and the ones that give help are usually very sensitive to the cases they are told of and don’t hesitate to give a few dollars up, or even far more than that, in cases. Who would turn the back to someone who is asking for money in order to save a child suffering from a special disease and needs help urgently?
You much probably will fall into it. Except for children with special needs, there are tons of other ways the fraudulent are operating under.
- Urgent medical operations – Tons of people every year, mostly in Australia and US, are giving money to strangers that are knocking on their doors asking for money for the sake of a child or adult who needs to go through a complex operation that costs tons of money and they can’t afford it on their own. Lots of them to turn out fraudulent.
- Poverty in Children – Most of the cases the charities are found for is for supporting children who are wanting, to support their basic needs such as food, water or basic scholarship. There are a lot of them who to tend operate as legal, yet unfortunately, there are a lot of others who do so with a whole different background.
- Religion – There are a lot of cases when a few people are asking for alms for the sake of a religious group. For the same supposed to run a charity to spread their belief.
- Sports and recreations – Cases when a group of people is looking to raise funds for a sports event or even recreation center are not always true. A lot of reports in Australia last year have suggested the event people paid for to take place, actually never did and they never saw the fraudulent again.
- Talent supporting – There are several reports when people have raised a fund to support an individual or group who were supposed to “aim high” because of their extraordinary talent, and they didn’t want him or them to stop because of their financial incapability to hinder them, to turn out to be none but another bait of a fraud.
The Ways They Contact You
As the internet has made things way too easy to get in touch with anyone you want to, your phone number is not of a secret anymore, especially if you join sites and have accepted the risk of a third party included. Some of the most common ways fraudulent charities can contact you are almost anything you can imagine of. However, let’s see the full list.
- Phone 35.5%
- Email 21%
- Social Networking 15%
- Text message 8.5%
- In Person 7%
- Mobile Applications 4%
- The rest are mostly other internet programs and features
The women lead with 60% of the reported victims, while men with over 35%, leaving the rest unspecified.
( The list is originally from Australian scam statistics of the year of 2018, while US, UK, Canada and Europe is not very different, give-or-take.)
5 Ways How to Recognize Fraudulent Charities
Before making your next donation to any charity you are not quite sure if you can trust them, I invite you to take a look at these 5 ways how most of them work. And probably pray for the one you gave money to, to not be part of the list.
- The charity is absolutely unknown to you and yours. Or they operate under the name of a very well-known charity, and even the same website features and design, only for the donation address to be otherwise – a fraud.
- The person in charge to collect money for a true charity does not necessarily need to have an ID to be identified, however, the fraudulent forges one to look more trustworthy. Well, karma… is a “good girl”, isn’t she?
- They try to FORCE you to give to the charity, aiming your consciousness.
- Most of them don’t accept cheques, and even if they do, they will ask you to send to their personal address and not to the charity directly.
- In most cases, they won’t give you any bill for your given money. Even if they do, there will be no proper information on the charity they pretend to be collecting money for.
Fake Charities List
There are a LOT of fake charities who operate especially in the US, UK, Canada or Australia and I will show you a list of 10 charities you want to avoid whenever you see their name mentioned on your email, phone or even by in-person agents.
- National Caregiving Foundation
- Firefighters Burn Fund
- Our American Veterans
- Survivors and Victims Empowered
- Find The Children
- Disabled Police and Sheriffs Foundation
- Shiloh International Ministries
- Optimal Medical Foundation
- Defeat Diabetes Foundation
- Heart Support of America
6 Tips How to Avoid Fake Charities
If you want to make sure you will not fall prey to any fraudulent like this, I have made a list of 6 tips on how to avoid them. Let’s go straight in.
- Whenever you want to make a donation, make sure you contact charity organizations directly.
- Refuse to do advanced payments to a stranger. Avoid paying by any other payment method but a credit card. Banks are one of the only institutions that can help you recover from your loss.
- Search the internet for the address information the charity provided you with, to see if they match.
- In-person meetings with a charity, make sure to ask all the information about them as well as the purpose the money is going for. (BONUS TIP: If the one you are talking to doesn’t seem to be very certain in the information he provides, stay away from them!)
- Refuse to give personal information such as bank account or other online account information to someone you do not know or trust.
- Ask for more information on the charity if approached by a street-collector. Do not donate if you find something suspicious.
If you follow these simple steps on how to recognize and protect yourself from a fraudulent charity, the chances for you to fall into this pit are slightly reduced. However, you better keep your eyes open anytime.
And if you have fallen prey of this scam in the future or are dealing with one right now, we would love to hear your story in the section below, which could help a lot of others, simultaneously.