As Americans, it is almost part of our DNA to support and want to help our troops. Our nation was built on the backs of those who put their lives on the line for our freedoms. As sad as it is, there are fraudulent “charities” who wish to use the military, veterans and first responders for their own profit. Learn how to avoid donating to fake military charities by following the guidelines below.
How To Spot And Avoid Fake Charities
- Pay attention to the charity name and do your research. There have been countless “charities” who have been sued for lying to donors. A great many of these organizations used words like “military”, “wounded”, “veteran”, “hero”, “foundation” and other similar terms. Just because a charity sounds legit, doesn’t mean it is. Before you donate, do your research on where you’re looking to send your money. A great resource is Charity Navigator which will allow you to search for a charity, see its rating and determine whether it is a legitimate operation.
- Real charities won’t have a preferred payment option. One of the biggest red flags when it comes to a scam is when they ask you to pay in a specific way. If you’re asked to pay via a wire transfer or with gift cards, this is a scam. Both of these payment methods offer you absolutely no protection. It is basically like putting your dollars through a paper shredder once it’s in the hands of a scammer. You should use a credit card or check to donate to a charity once you know it is legitimate.
- Donate on your own timeline. A legitimate charity will never rush you or pressure you to donate.
- Caller ID can be deceiving. Scammers are now able to manipulate caller ID to show with the area code and name of their choosing. Just because it looks legit, doesn’t mean it is.
Learning how to avoid donating to fake military charities is by being extra careful. You must vet the charity you’re looking to donate to and take your time. Donating to support our military, veterans and first responders is an honorable act. Make sure your money is actually going to help them and not a scammer.