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Many Americans make it a point to assist victims of natural disasters, donate to fight diseases and give money to help veterans.
But their generosity is also noticed by scam artists, who want a piece of that action.
The Federal Trade Commission gives these red flags that a charitable appeal is not legitimate:
- The charity offers only vague information about its mission, budget and how your donation will be used.
- It won’t provide proof that your donation is tax-deductible.
- It may use a copycat name that closely resembles a well-known, reputable organization.
- It may thank you for making a pledge that you don’t recall making.
- It uses high-pressure and emotional appeals to get you to donate cash immediately.
You can make sure your generosity benefits the right people by carefully researching a charity before you give.
And even with legitimate charities, make sure the organization’s mission lines up with your charitable giving goals.