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Wrap Up Charity Scams

For many of us, the holiday season is a time for cheerful giving. But charity scammers ruin the mood by trying to cash in on your good will. If you’re supporting a charitable cause this winter, make a donation plan that includes spotting and avoiding scams.

Charitable giving goes up near the end of the year and scammers know it. Your year-end giving has the best chance of reaching the organizations you want to reach — and not scammers — when you:

  • Check out a charity before you give. Most organizations use heart-warming messages to inspire you to give. But scammers might do that too. So before you donate to a charity, check them out on Better Business Bureau's (BBB) Wise Giving AllianceCharity NavigatorCharity Watch, or Candid. If you find anything that worries you about the organization, find another way to give to the cause.
  • Ask how much of your donation will go to the charity. If you donate through an online platform, the platform or another organization may keep part of the money as a fee before sending the rest to your chosen charity. That information should be clear and easy to find on the platform’s website. If it’s not, consider donating directly to the charity instead.
  • Don’t rush. Scammers pressure you to give right away. They don’t want you to have time to research their claims or think it through. Honest charities always need your donations — but they won’t rush you into donating immediately.
  • Pay by credit card. It’s your safest bet. Scammers often ask you to wire money through companies like Western Union and Money Gram or buy gift cards. Or they might insist that you pay by cryptocurrency. If someone says it’s the only way for you to donate, you know it’s a scam.

If you spot a charity scam, tell the FTC at and your state charity regulator at

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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Yaundricka L B…
January 12, 2023

This is good ways to detect scammers,and this help to report it as well.

Bridga Euseary
January 12, 2023

Thanks for your help and the answers stay safe and have a very Merry wonderful holiday.

Pete H Rodrigu…
January 12, 2023

I have not donated I'm currently not banking on line for my personal protection.
Pete H Rodriguez III