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Scam #8: Charity Scams

Do your research before donating
Posted at 8:42 AM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-19 09:42:27-05

The Salvation Army is a great place to donate this holiday season but there are some "Sketchy Charities" that seem to come around this time of year.

That's the 8th Scam in our series on the "12 Scams of Christmas."

You might get a phone call from a non-profit, making a final push for end-of-year fundraising.

But if it happens to you, don't feel rushed into giving them money.

Do your research first.

Ask them for their EIN number which is the tax code for charitable organizations.

Also, look for sound-alike names that try to confuse you into thinking you're giving to a well-known charity.

And check out websites like "Charity Navigator" that tell you the charity's rating, based on how much they give to programs versus overhead expenses.

Kevin Scally, Chief Relationship Officer for Charity Navigator, says "It's one thing to look at what the financials are, but you really want to know what is this going to be the outcome of making a gift of $50, $100, what does that actually equate to and most organizations should be able to tell you as to what that will in turn do for them."

If the charity is withholding any details or they're not able to answer specific questions, those are red flags.

Also, most charities have to be registered with the state.

In addition to Charity Navigator-- you can also view financials and other information on nonprofits on "Guidestar"... And the I-r-s website.

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