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During the holidays, many of us find ourselves in the spirit of giving. Along with spoiling our friends and family with gifts, we often enjoy donating to charity at the end of the year. When it comes to helping charity, the more the merrier! However, there are many scammers who imitate legitimate charities and would love to take your money instead. You must beware of holiday charity scams when you go to submit your much needed donations.

How To Protect Against Charity Scams

In order to avoid becoming a victim of a charity scam, there are a few rules you should follow.

  • Always do your research on a charity before giving any money. A website such as Charity Navigator will allow you to vet a charity before giving. This website also allows you to donate to the charity directly so that you know your money is going to the right place. If you have a charity you already love donating to, make sure you are visiting their official website. You should never donate through an email or text from an unrecognized or unvetted source.
  • Legitimate charities will gladly take your donation at any time. Any charity that rushes you to give money should throw up an immediate red flag. It’s true that many charities could benefit from having more money around the holidays. However, a legitimate charity may encourage you to donate, but never in a pushy way.
  • Another red flag is when a “charity” asks you to pay with cash, gift cards, wire transfer or any form of cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. This is how scammers accept payment because it isn’t as easy to track.

When you’re in the mood to donate some of your hard-earned money to a worthy charity, beware of holiday charity scams. As long as you’re careful, your generosity will surely go a long way this holiday season.

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