Charity Fake News
From the Hot Springs [Arkansas] Sentinel-Record,
LITTLE ROCK — Scammers attempt to steal money from Arkansans by posing as veterans charities and requesting donations year-round, but the Arkansas attorney general’s office says that with Veterans Day it is important consumers are able to recognize charitable solicitation fraud and distinguishing between fake and real charities.
“It’s unbelievable that con artists will create charities named similarly to existing, trustworthy organizations in the name of our beloved and dedicated military,” Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said in a news release. “Knowing and asking the correct questions will alert Arkansans to potential scams. I am determined to protect Arkansans’ hard-earned money and especially those helping veterans and our brave servicemen and women.”
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.