25 Feb Protect Yourself from Veterans Charity Scams
Veterans Day is observed annually on November 11 in the United States, a day for everyone to respect and honor military veterans. While many choose to donate to assist veterans in need, scammers often see this as a great opportunity to take advantage of people’s gratitude and make money in the name of charity.
Scam alert! Scammers will reach out to you in different ways: emails, phone calls, text messages, or even in person. They claim to be from charitable organizations and try their best to persuade you to donate to their organizations to help veterans.
Red flags of veterans charity scams
- The organization is unknown, brand new, not registered, or has many bad reviews.
- They ask you to pay in cash only or to wire the money.
- They won’t stop calling you and guilt trip you, claiming that they need the money immediately.
- They ask for your personal information, such as your Security Number.
- You are offered rewards or “benefits.”
- They know little about their cause or give you vague answers when asked about their mission and goals.
How to avoid veterans charity scams?
- Check the legitimacy of the charitable organization. Do all necessary research. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) suggests adding keywords like “review,” “rating,” “complaint,” or “scam” for further information. Here is a list of organizations to help you look up the charities.
- Know the charity. Ask questions like what is the goal of the charity? How will they use the funds? Charity Navigator provides a list of questions to ask charities for donors before deciding to donate.
- Contact the organization in person for direct donations.
- Ask for a receipt and trace the status of your donation.
- Report to FTC if you encounter veterans charity scams.
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