Avoid Charity Scams
April 29, 2015 by

How to avoid Nepal earthquake relief scams…

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Our hearts go out to all affected by the earthquake in Nepal. Unfortunately, when these kinds of events occur, alongside all the charities that are making their efforts to help people in need, there are a few that seize the opportunities to take advantage of your goodwill. If you are thinking of making charitable donation to help those in need, we want to help you make sure your money goes as far as it can.

Last year, it is estimated that Canadians gave $70 million to scammers with emotional scams ranking second the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s list of top scams.

There are a few things to look out for when you are considering to make a donation…

Do Your Research

Know who you are giving to. Some organizations manage their money better and can guarantee your donation will do more for the people in need. There are many people who have the best of intentions but don’t have the capabilities to make donations go far.

Don’t Rush

The days immediately after a disaster inspire a lot of urgency in people to donate. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it is very important to take your time making your decision. Most likely, the organizations that can help immediately after an event have already accumulated funds for just such a disaster. Your donations will help in the long run.

“Pick an organization that is reputable and that you know that they’re around and providing reporting on the work they’re already doing in other places,” says Mark Blumberg, a lawyer at Blumberg Segal LLP focused on non-profit and charity law.

Avoid Door to Door 

It’s probably best to avoid donating at the door. This doesn’t give you time to do the research and you never know where your money will go. Instead of donating on the spot, you can use this time to ask questions, gather information and take a pamphlet to donate later. If it is a reputable charity, they should be happy to answer your questions.

Donate Directly

Go to your preferred charity’s website and donate directly. You can also explore CanadaHelps.org to see what other charities are legitimate and can safely and securely make your donations.

Need more tips? Check out our last post on the topic!

(Imag via Carissa Rogers;  CC BY 2.0)