Holiday Charitable Scams
The IRS is warning taxpayers about groups masquerading as a charitable organization to attract donations from unsuspecting contributors. The Holidays are a popular season for many scam artists and we would just like to share some basic tips to taxpayers making charitable donations:
Be wary of charities with names that are similar to familiar or nationally known organizations. Some phony charities use names or websites that sound or look like those of respected, legitimate organizations. IRS.gov has a search feature, Exempt Organizations Select Check, which allows people to find legitimate, qualified charities to which donations may be tax-deductible.
The urgent payment over-the-phone. Don’t give out personal financial information, such as Social Security numbers or passwords to anyone who solicits a contribution from you. Scam artists may use this information to steal your identity and money. People use credit card numbers to make legitimate donations but please be very careful when you are speaking with someone who called you.
Don’t give or send cash. For security and tax record purposes, contribute by check or credit card or another way that provides documentation of the gift.
Many charitable organizations are seeking your aid to address genuine hardships. Avoid the schemes of unethical peddlers and your donations will provide help where it's needed most.