Shiane Daima Jacocks
Although, “safety first” usually pertains to children, everyone, especially those 50 years of age and older, must also be cautious, particularly in regards to charity scams.
The nation’s consumer protection agency, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), has expressed concern regarding charity scams in light of the recent Hurricane Harvey disaster and as we near the most charitable giving time of the year. The agency warned about countless swindlers who pose as charities to not only obtain your donation, but often your personal information.
Before donating to a charity, the FTC suggests conducting research beforehand, to ensure it is a donation to an honest cause, to benefit the intended group. The Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance helps donors make informed giving decisions and promotes high standards of conduct among organizations that solicit contributions from the public.
It is important to be wary about telephone and email solicitors and not provide personal information, especially over the telephone. While caller ID may enable you to ignore calls from unwanted companies, technology provides many ways for scam artists to trick unsuspecting individuals.
The FTC also suggests the following before donating to charity this year: Never give out personal or financial information to telephone and email solicitors. Never send cash, because it provides no record that the money was received. Donate to charities you know and trust. Be wary of charities that spring up overnight when there is a tragedy.
When it comes to any type of scam, the FTC and BBB Wise Giving Alliance wants to protect and inform citizens about false charities—those intent on manipulating individuals who would just want to help during this tragic time. For more information, please visit: http://www.give.org. For other assistance, especially if you think you may be a victim of a scam, contact San Bernardino County Adult Protective Services at 877-565-2020, or your local police department.