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Someone contacts you asking for a donation to their charity. It sounds like a group you’ve heard of, it seems real, and you want to help.

But how can you tell what’s a scam? Charity scammers want to get your money quickly. They often pressure you to donate right away. They ask for cash, gift cards, cryptocurrency, or wire transfers. Scammers often refuse to send you information about the charity. They won’t answer questions or explain how the money will be used. They might even lie and say you already made a pledge to donate.

Here’s what to do:

1. Take your time. Don’t trust your caller ID. Scammers use technology to make any name or number appear on caller ID. Tell callers to send you information by mail. Do some research. Is the charity real? If callers ask you for cash, gift cards, cryptocurrency, or a wire transfer, it’s a scam.

2. Pass this information on to a friend. Probably everyone you know gets charity solicitations. This information could help someone else spot a possible scam.

Want to know more?

Sign up for Consumer Alerts at ftc.gov/ConsumerAlerts.