Avoiding charity scams during the holiday season

Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 6:32 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - ‘Tis the season… for scamming.

While our hearts and minds are with loved ones as well as those needing more love and resources during the holiday season.

Scammers’ minds are on our wallets.

Rick Walz, president of the Northern Indiana BBB, says the potential for scammers during this season is extremely high. Especially with so many tragic events happening stateside and worldwide that make many of us open to leading a helping hand. Walz says that emotion is the very thing that scammers prey on.

“They’ll make an emotional plea and really prey on your emotions to try to encourage you to give on the spot and avoid that urge. that charity is going to be there and hour from now, two days from now. go online and check them out to verify that they are a legitimate charity before you agree to give anything,” says Walz.

The landscape of charity and donating has changed drastically as many struggle to make ends meet for themselves.

Thomas Tighe from Direct Relief, a major non-profit that services all 50 states, notes that real charities aren’t just out for your money. He says with the reach of social media, an informed advocate for a non-profit can be just as beneficial for their mission. There should be no guilt if you can’t give due to financial reasons.

“People ought not to feel bad about their financial circumstances that they can’t contribute, but they can. They can contribute their views, and their knowledge, and their involvement in the cause. and that’s golden for any nonprofit to have people like that who really care about, know about, and want to offer their kind of endorsement to people who know them, says Tighe.

Here are some resources to check if you want to make sure a charity is legitimate before sending your hard-earned money.

Charity Navigator

Charity Watch

Better Business Bureau

Walz also says if you suspect a charity is actually a potential scam, you should immediately report it to the BBB.