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How to avoid Giving Tuesday scams and frauds

Published: Dec. 1, 2020 at 5:59 AM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Giving Tuesday is a time to open hearts, minds and wallets for organizations that help people in need. Unfortunately, fraudsters are looking to take advantage of the spirit of the season.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions have advice to make sure your donation is going to the right place.

“Scammers sometimes use phony websites and high-pressure pitches to gather funds for fake charities in an effort to steal your money and personal information,” said Lara Sutherlin, Administrator of DATCP’s Division of Trade and Consumer Protection. “There are many simple ways you can protect yourself from scammers and make sure you are donating to a legitimate charity.”

Here are some tips to avoid being taken by a scammer over the phone, text or online:

• Do not make a payment over the phone, hang up and do additional research first.

• Do not click on links or attachments in emails, text messages, or social media posts, and do not share information with senders you do not know.

• Watch for imposter website links or social media profiles; check the spelling of the charity’s name on the account and website.

• If you don’t recognize the name or number, ask who is making the request

• Ask for the name, address, and phone number of the organization asking for the donation.

• Ask how your donation will be used and what percentage of your donation will be used for program services (also referred to as the organization’s charitable purpose) rather than for administrative, management, or fundraising costs.

• Ask a caller to send written material about the organization.

RESEARCH CHARITIES

DFI’s database of state-registered charitable organizations: http://www.wdfi.org/CharitableOrganizations/default.htm

Do your research: https://www.charitynavigator.org/ or http://give.org/

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