Donors should be wary of charity scams around the holidays

People looking to give to charities should be wary of charity scammers around this time of year

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – Almost everyone is in a giving mood during the holidays, but scammers can sometimes take advantage of that by tricking you into giving them your money.

When donating to a charity, it’s important to know exactly where your money is going. Otherwise, it could potentially land in the wrong hands.

At the Arkansas Foodbank, this time of year brings in thousands and thousands of donations from all over the state.

"We have so many outside organizations like churches business, youth groups and organizations that want to do fundraisers on our behalf,” Arkansas Food Bank Chief Development Officer Sarah Riffle said.

So, if you want to donate to a charity like the food bank, how do you ensure you know exactly where your donations are going?

"If you go into a business that says they're collecting funds from the Arkansas Foodbank and you want to make sure the donations are in fact coming here, you can always pick up the phone and call us here and we will verify that we are working with that group,” Riffle said.

Mike Rohrer with the Arkansas Better Business Bureu said the holiday season brings out thousands of scammers around the country - disguising themselves as charities.

"Make sure you know who you're dealing with,” Rohrer said. “If you don’t know where [your donation] is going, that’s a problem.”

He said it is best to take the extra time to do your research before you write that check.

"If you need to give right away, we always say take your time. The charity or the place you want to donate to will be happy to get your money the next day if you're not sure,” Rohrer said.

Rohrer also recommends to:

  • Check the charity’s website, phone and e-mail at Give.org to verify it is legitimate. He said if it does not come up, this is a red flag.
  • When someone is demanding for money immediately, don’t give in! It can wait.
  • Watch out for look-a-like websites. Look for URLs that use the names of well-known companies along with extra words.
  • Never give out ANY personal information like credit card and social security numbers over the phone.

"Please just look at the company that you're donating to, make sure you know who they are. Take your time and donate wisely,” Rohrer said.

If you would like to donate to the Arkansas Foodbank, click here.

© 2018 KTHV-TV


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