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Giving & Charity Fraud

We all have organizations that are close to our hearts. This past Saturday, I donated Puppy Chow, bleach, paper towels, pate cat food, dog bones, etc. to a shelter in North Brookfield, MA called Second Chance Animal Services. They do wonderful things for pets and animals. It made me feel so good to think that the little I was able to give was so appreciated and needed. Just think if everyone that was capable could just give a little, volunteer their time, help a neighbor or a senior citizen with a chore, or anything else kind, what a wonderful world we could have! It would not take much of everyone but it would take many of us to just open our hearts and do an act of kindness. Not only can you help someone or something in need, but it will make you feel good to do it.

But with giving, you will find scammers unfortunately. Help someone you know or if it is an organization, do your research first. How can you tell what charity is legitimate and what’s a scam? Scammers want your money quickly. Charity scammers often pressure you to donate right away. They might ask for cash, and might even offer to send a courier or ask you to wire money. Scammers often refuse to send you information about the charity, give you details, or tell you how the money will be used. They might even thank you for a pledge you don’t remember making. Take your time. Tell callers to send you information by mail. For requests you get in the mail, do your research. Is it a real group? What percentage of your donation goes to the charity? Is your donation tax-deductible? How do they want you to pay? You have a right to ask these questions. Any organization that is not comfortable giving you this information may not be a reputable organization to give to. Rule out anyone who asks you to send cash or wire money. Chances are, that’s a scam.

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