Charitable Giving and Financial Fraud
Most of us think about charitable giving around tax time; however, charitable giving continues all year long. The thought that we could be in need one day, just as the people we are helping, is a huge motivator for some. Others feel that it is their “duty” as Americans to help their fellow citizens while others simply see it as the “right” thing to do. In times of devastation or tragedy, Americans have always been very generous with their charitable giving. Whether it is because of a person’s faith, civic duty or sympathetic nature, most Americans gladly share their hard-earned income with others in need.
Unfortunately, there are thieves who take advantage of the good nature others. When we make charitable contributions, we must be very careful to protect ourselves from financial fraud. It hurts to think that a person would take advantage of our kind and giving nature; however, it happens every day throughout the United States.
How to Identify and Prevent Fraud
We are all susceptible to fraud. Some people may think that they are too “smart” or “savvy” to be taken in by fraud and that only happens to the elderly or someone not managing their finances wisely. The truth is that anyone can be a victim of fraud if that person does not take the time necessary to investigate a charity prior to giving money to it. For example, whenever there is a devastating event such as a hurricane, typhoon or tsunami, thousands of website pop up overnight claiming to support the victims. It is easy to mistake these websites as genuine organizations because the creators of these fraudulent websites are very good at making their website appear legitimate. They work very hard to deceive the public. You believe that you money is actually going to the people who need help; however, the money is going in the pockets of thieves. …