“This is the peak season for home burglaries, car break-ins, package thefts and scams. This week I want to focus on the scams, particularly the charity scams. Scammers look for trusting, soft hearted people that want to help needy (children in particular) or sick people (cancer victims especially), abandoned or abused animals or the environment. Our government is incredibly incompetent when it comes to preventing serial scammers from setting up their traps and ripping off billions, so it’s up to us as individuals. But, the good part is, all it takes to shut these scammers down is awareness, knowledge and common sense.” Jack L.
In the wake of tragedies large and small, they pop up like mushrooms after a rain. With tales of woe and heartbreaking images of children or helpless animals, they beg for assistance. They are the tragi-charities. One hit wonders seeking to cash in on the tragedy of the day from floods and fires to missing children and more.
1. Kids Wish Network
2. Cancer Fund of America
3. Children’s Wish Foundation International
4. American Breast Cancer Foundation
5. Firefighters Charitable Foundation
6. Breast Cancer Relief Foundation
7. International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO
8. National Veterans Service Fund
9. American Association of State Troopers
10. Children’s Cancer Fund of America
11. Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation
12. Youth Development Fund
13. Committee For Missing Children
14. Association for Firefighters and Paramedics
15. Project Cure (Bradenton, FL)
16. National Caregiving Foundation
17. Operation Lookout National Center for Missing Youth
18. United States Deputy Sheriffs’ Association
19. Vietnow National Headquarters
20. Police Protective Fund
21. National Cancer Coalition
22. Woman to Woman Breast Cancer Foundation
23. American Foundation For Disabled Children
24. The Veterans Fund
25. Heart Support of America
26. Veterans Assistance Foundation
27. Children’s Charity Fund
28. Wishing Well Foundation USA
29. Defeat Diabetes Foundation
30. Disabled Police Officers of America Inc.
31. National Police Defense Foundation
32. American Association of the Deaf & Blind
33. Reserve Police Officers Association
34. Optimal Medical Foundation
35. Disabled Police and Sheriffs Foundation
36. Disabled Police Officers Counseling Center
37. Children’s Leukemia Research Association
38. United Breast Cancer Foundation
39. Shiloh International Ministries
40. Circle of Friends For American Veterans
41. Find the Children
42. Survivors and Victims Empowered
43. Firefighters Assistance Fund
44. Caring for Our Children Foundation
45. National Narcotic Officers Associations Coalition
46. American Foundation for Children With AIDS
47. Our American Veterans
48. Roger Wyburn- Mason & Jack M Blount Foundation for Eradication of Rheumatoid Disease
49. Firefighters Burn Fund
50. Hope Cancer Fund
This list was put together by the Tampa Bay Times and The Center for Investigative Reporting based on federal tax filings for the last 10 years. Charities are broken up into five main categories: children, cancer, police/law enforcement, veterans, fire and other. These fifty charities account for more than $1.35 Billion in donations. Of that, $970 million went not to victims, but to the people who collected the money.
By no means is the list above all the charity scams that exist, there’s new scams that pop up every day. So, what to do if you are suspicious? Simple… don’t give a dime and hang up. “You should decline any requests to give over the phone, says Leonie Giles, a senior program analyst for Charity Navigator, which evaluates and rates charities.”
Don’t waste your time – hang up! In 99% of the cases its a total waste of time to call the police too. They couldn’t possibly handle all the calls and besides most of the crimes are happening out of their jurisdiction. Local police are virtually powerless to deal with charity frauds. Here’s a helpful link to evaluate a charity.
If you don’t know the charity – don’t give, but if you do give to a known charity, for gosh sakes don’t send cash and get a receipt!
Am a volunteer with a Consumer Help group. Had a call from someone who got scammed to the tune of $300 several years ago by a call from “Microsoft.”
She changed all her bank info afterwards and just lately got a call from the same group. They told her that their company was going outta business and they’d like to refund that $300 if she would only give them her bank info . . . . . . . .
Smart lady – she hung up!
Good article, and needed for this time of the year. I started looking up a charity expense costs years ago after I got suspicious of a group who represented themselves as a “benevolent sheriff’s officers” group to arrange for kids to attend a circus function (if I recall function correctly).
Checking into them, I found the percentage they kept for administrative cost was over half of the donation, also they would claim to send an officer to pick up the donation, (nice gimmick) so that much administrative cost alerted me to a problem of this groups charitable work. To this day I will still get a call from them at this time of the year. Their intentions may be there, but I feel they keep too much for administrative expense.
I do donate to the Fisher house for their work for military families and for 14 years they have been credited as being in the top 1% of nonprofit charities, with 93% of what they raise going to providing our military family’s free housing during medical treatments so they can be together.
Here’s a link if you’re looking to help someone this Christmas season. https://www.fisherhouse.org/
So I just got a call from the American Autistic Children’s Society, they also support research on down syndrome. Well, isn’t that nice?
Caller: “Can I count on you for your support?”
Me: Sure, right after I validate if you are legit and I see how much money goes to helping and how much goes to your overhead.”
Not sure why she even bothered to say that much… lol What an ugly scam, using autistic kids to rip off people…they have no shame.
Identity theft is continuously on the rise, and Banks want to share useful information to help you protect your personal data from fraudsters and scammers this holiday season.
What is Caller ID Spoofing? Companies engaging in criminal telemarketing activities that spoof (or manipulate) the caller ID to make it appear that the call is coming from your Bank. This fraudulent caller will identify themselves as a representative of the bank and ask you to share with them personal information such as your social security number, user ID, account password or ATM/debit card PIN.
Banks never request your account number, PIN, online banking credentials or one-time passcode.
What should I do if I receive a call or email as described above?
• Never provide any personal identifiable information to the individual or company requesting your information.
• Decline to offer the information, hang up and contact your Bank directly to speak with a representative.
• Once you contact your Bank directly, we will verify your identity and you will be able to authenticate the validity of the request you received.
• Stay safe and stay Informed!