This is a true story. Names and images have been changed to protect privacy. What happened to Mrs. V is a big part of why we created CharityCheck101.org.
Not long ago a local police department asked me to help them figure out what had happened to money of an older woman (I’ll call her Mrs. V).
- Mrs. V had turned over a large portion of her savings to a group that she thought was a charity.
- She did this after she connected with a “nice young man” at her church.
- The group wasn’t a charity. But it raised millions of dollars from Mrs. V and others, while disguised as a charity.
- “Charity” scammers do double damage. They take from the donor, and they take from those the donor wanted to help.
- If someone — Mrs. V, or a family member or friend — had checked the group’s identity before she gave them money — she would have avoided this “charity” scam and retained her dollars for better use.