Charity Fake News
From the United States Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA),
In the wake of the recent shootings in El Paso, TX, and Dayton, OH, [CISA] advises users to watch out for possible malicious cyber activity seeking to capitalize on these tragic events. Users should exercise caution in handling emails related to the shootings, even if they appear to originate from trusted sources. Fraudulent emails often contain links or attachments that direct users to phishing or malware-infected websites. Emails requesting donations from duplicitous charitable organizations are also common after tragic events. Be wary of fraudulent social media pleas, calls, texts, donation websites, and door-to-door solicitations relating to these events.
Whether tying themselves to a prominent cause or preying on compassion related to a natural or human disaster, “charity” fakes are a year-round plague. And “charity” fakers do double damage — they steal from you and they steal from those you want to help with your donated dollars.
Check before You Donate
The key to avoiding charity fakes is to check if the group is recognized by the IRS as a nonprofit or charity. CharityCheck101.org helps you do that for free with its Directory Search and Reverse Lookup pages. Get the organization’s EIN and then dig deeper.
Fakes can be non-existent “charities” and can also be groups that spend little or nothing on their purported mission. It’s easy to check spending by reviewing the group’s public IRS Form 990. Find a 990 super fast and free.