Charity Fake News
From the Tampa Bay Newspapers, September 10, 2019,
One of the unfortunate byproducts of most any disaster is scam artists who try to take advantage of people’s generosity and desire to help others. Hurricane Dorian is no exception.
“We want to encourage those that want to give and help. Lives were lost, property was destroyed, it’s so important that we help our neighbors,” Attorney General Ashley Moody said in a press release. “At the same time… there are often people that want to take advantage and scam Floridians and take their hard-earned money when they’re just trying to help. Avoid solicitors using high pressure tactics that persuade you to give, determine whether a charity is legitimate by visiting CharityNavigator.org, and make sure that, when you’re evaluating what charity to give to, you’re asking questions.”
There are more than 1.7 million nonprofits registered with the IRS. CharityNavigator.org does excellent work. CharityNavigator.org, however, rates only about 9,000 of them. Many solid charities are not rated. So you’ll need to do some more digging on them. See Check before You Donate below.
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.