Charities: Watch Out for Fake Donations

Image: MGN Online

Image: MGN Online

For charities across the nation, the holiday season is a critical time of year for fundraising. Out of the $358 billion given during the year, 34% of donations are made during the last three months of the year, with 18% of that made during the month of December.

Unfortunately, scammers are once again seizing the opportunity to skim off some of these funds through a simple over-payment scam. Alert your favorite charity about this scam, so they won’t become the next victim. Here’s how the scam works.

A donor will contact the target charity to say that they would like to make a large donation. They will arrange to have the check sent by overnight mail. The next day, before the check can clear the bank, the scammer will call the charity to say that there has been a terrible accident or emergency in the family and that they desperately need the charity to return several thousand dollars of the donation – usually by wire transfer. In reality, the original check is fake. If the charity accepts the bait and returns money to the scammer before making sure the check has cleared (or not), it will lose a great deal of money – something no charity can afford to lose. Source: bbb.org.

For more information on this scam and tips on how to avoid it, check out Bogus Donation Scam Targeting Local Nonprofits.

For more charitable giving facts and figures, go to the National Center for Charitable Statistics.

To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to bbb.org.