Giving Tuesday is a day to extend a helping hand, support charitable causes, and share kindness with those in need. However, despite the noble intention of Giving Tuesday, there is an alarming concern that continues to grow – the presence of Giving Tuesday scams. These scams are designed to exploit the goodwill of donors, diverting funds from legitimate causes into the wrong hands.
Here is what you need to know to help keep your finances and identity safe with our top five tips to help avoid charity scams this Giving Tuesday. By staying informed and vigilant, you can ensure that your generosity makes a genuine difference and reaches those who truly need it. Let’s celebrate the true spirit of giving by protecting our contributions and supporting the causes that matter most.
What Is Giving Tuesday?
Giving Tuesday is an international day of service commemorated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States. It is meant to encourage people to give back to their communities through charitable donations, volunteering, or simply sharing kindness with others. Giving Tuesday originated in the United States in 2012 to contrast the commercialism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It has since spread worldwide to more than 150 countries.
Many nonprofits participate in Giving Tuesday by running special campaigns and events to raise awareness of their causes and attract donations. It is also a way to celebrate the power of generosity to make a difference in the world.
What Is a Giving Tuesday Scam?
Unfortunately, some individuals and organizations take advantage of Giving Tuesday to perpetrate scams, preying on the generosity of good-willed donors. Giving Tuesday scams can take various forms, including phishing emails, fraudulent websites, and even door-to-door solicitations. These scams are designed to trick people into donating money to fake charities or causes, diverting funds away from legitimate causes.
The prevalence of Giving Tuesday scams has been a quickly growing danger to the charitable supporters of the movement. Scammers have become increasingly sophisticated, making it more challenging to distinguish between genuine charitable organizations and fraudulent ones.
How to Help Avoid Giving Tuesday Scams
To help you give back safely so your contributions don’t fall into the wrong hands, here are 5 tips to help avoid charity scams this Giving Tuesday:
1. Research the Organization
Before donating, thoroughly research the charity or organization you plan to support. You can verify their legitimacy by examining the organization’s history and learning more about the impact of their work. A legitimate charity will have a track record of providing genuine assistance to those in need and will be transparent and specific about how they use donations to support their cause.
Look for reliable sources of information, such as the organization’s official website, independent charity evaluators, and government websites. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a valuable resource for verifying a charity’s credibility. There are also charity-rating websites such as Give.org.
2. Be Careful About High-Pressure Tactics
Be wary of organizations that employ high-pressure tactics to secure your donation. Scammers often use aggressive and emotionally manipulative methods to coerce individuals into giving. They may create a sense of urgency, claiming immediate action is needed to address a crisis or emergency.
Don’t let charitable organizations rush you into making a decision. Take the time to verify the organization and ensure your money goes to a legitimate cause. Genuine charities respect your need to make an informed choice.
3. Donate Using Safe Payment Methods
When making donations, opt for secure and reputable payment methods, such as credit cards, PayPal, or established online donation platforms. These methods offer additional layers of security and can help protect your financial information. Avoid using gift cards or wire transfers, as scammers commonly favor these for their anonymity and their difficulty to trace.
4. Make Sure the Website Is Secure
Before entering personal or payment information on a charity’s website, check for security features like HTTPS in the website’s URL or a padlock symbol to the left of the URL. Secure websites encrypt your data, reducing the risk of it falling into the wrong hands. Donating on unsecured websites can expose your sensitive information to potential threats.
5. Don’t Share Unnecessary Information
When making donations, only provide the necessary personal information. Avoid sharing sensitive data like your Social Security number, which should never be required for charitable contributions. Scammers may attempt to collect excessive personal information to steal your identity, so be cautious about what you disclose.
As we approach Giving Tuesday, be cautious and vigilant to help avoid falling victim to charity scams. While most charitable organizations are genuine and do meaningful work, protecting your hard-earned money from those who seek to exploit your generosity is essential.
By sticking to these five tips, you can stay one step ahead of Giving Tuesday charity scams. Remember to take your time, research the organization’s history and credentials, avoid unsolicited and urgent requests, and use secure payment methods when making donations. This advice can help you make a genuine impact and help those who truly need it.
Using IdentityIQ identity theft protection services to help safeguard your credit and personal information is a great additional layer of protection. The invaluable benefits of IdentityIQ, such as credit report monitoring, VPN and antivirus software, identity theft insurance, and more, can help you stay protected from potential scammers and ensure that your generosity goes where it belongs – to the charities and causes you care about.