Avoiding Charity Scams

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Can You Spot Charity Scams?

Following a tragic event, there is often an outpouring of support for victims, and there are those who will attempt to take advantage. Before you open your wallet, consider these tips:

Avoid pressure tactics

Be wary of emotional appeals, such as “urgent” or “critical” from unfamiliar organizations.

Watch out for similar names

Some phony charities use names that closely resemble those of respected, legitimate organizations.

Avoid paying cash

Unless it is a local charity you already know, it is best to pay by check — made payable to the charity, not the solicitor.

If Giving Online, make sure the Website is Secure

Look for a lock icon on the browser’s status bar or a URL that begins “https.”

Do your homework

  • Get written information about the charity
  • Visit www.charitynavigator.org to view ratings of how efficiently charities use donations.
  • In Ohio, charitable solicitation organizations must register with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. To check on a group’s registration or complaint history, call the Help Center at 800-282-0515
  • From the Summit County Office of Consumer Affairs

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