Oil spill and charity scams

Why is it that when there is a tragic event in our world it always seems to be followed by a new wave of scams? I feel that is because the scammers use our emotions and wanting to help others against us.  They know that if we think we are helping someone else out we are more willing to donate money or not check out the facts.

It is times like this that we usually see an increase in charity scams, where the scammer will pretend to be a representative of a charity collecting money to help the victims of a tragedy.  We as Scam Victims United recommend that you NEVER give money to a charity through an email link that was sent to you, a phone call or a person that knocks at your door.  If you really would like to help out the people suffering from a tragedy, then you should be the one to contact that organization to make the donation.  This way you will know that it is a real agency or charity and not just a person trying to separate you from your money.

How do you find the “real” charities? I would start by checking with the following organizations.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance
4200 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 800
Arlington, VA 22203
(703) 276-0100
www.bbb.org/charity

American Institute of Philanthropy
P.O. Box 578460
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 529-2300
www.charitywatch.org

Charity Navigator
1200 MacArthur Boulevard
Mahwah, NJ 07430
(201) 818-1288
www.charitynavigator.org

GuideStar
4801 Courthouse Street, Suite 220
Williamsburg, VA 23188
(757) 229-4631
www.guidestar.org

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