News

Fraud Alert Bulletin - Charity Imposters

The York County Elder Abuse Task Force has issued a fraud alert bulletin. 

Many of us donate to charities on behalf of ourselves or loved ones.  The York County Elder Abuse Task Force offers the following tips to avoid being scammed:

  • Never donate to someone who is asking you to send cash, pay with a gift card, or wire money.
  • Confirm the exact name of the charity and do some research, especially if you are donating for the first time. A quick Internet search with the name of the charity and the words “complaint” or “scam” may reveal a charity with a less-than-stellar reputation.
  • Give to charities that you know and trust who have a proven track record. There are a number of organizations which review charities and can provide information about where your money goes, such as:
    o The Better Business Bureau Wide Giving Alliance (http://give.org/)
    o Charity Navigator (https://www.charitynavigator.org/)
    o Charity Watch (https://www.charitywatch.org/)
    o GuideStar (http://www.guidestar.org/)
  • Be wary of charities that appear suddenly based off of a natural disaster or other tragedy.
  • Look at any solicitations for donations on social media or crowdfunding sites (e.g., Kickstarter, GoFundMe) with a critical eye. Scammers can use the stories of real victims to elicit sympathy and misguide you about where the funds are going.
  • If you are donating via text, make sure that you check that number on the charity’s website before sending funds.
  • Never click on links or open attachments in emails, even if they appear to come from a charity. Doing so could expose you to malware or bring you to an imposter website.

For more information, visit www.ftc.gov/charity. If you find a scam, report it to the FTC at www.ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-FTC–HELP.

Follow this link to read the entire fraud alert bulletin.