Learn how to tell a legitimate charity call from scammers

To give, or not to give? There‘s only one simple rule to follow: before giving away, always make sure who are you giving to. 

The donations’ season has come earlier this year. And it’s no wonder. “Wildfires raging out West. The hurricane season. Civil unrest. And all of this happening during a global pandemic that has claimed its own devastating share of deaths and cost people their livelihoods. In response to these events, the season of giving is starting even before the usual holidays, since we all just want to help where and as we can,” lists the FTC.

6 important rules to follow

In general, there’s nothing wrong with donating. Although sometimes annoying, charity calls are not a bad thing. You’re given a chance to donate money for a good cause and, in fact, there are a lot of charitable organizations that use your donations to make a real difference in the world. However, your generosity can backfire on you.

It’s all because of scammers, people competing with legitimate charities, taking advantage of your generosity. So, as you open your heart and wallet to help people and causes, be sure to consider these tips for safe giving.

–> What’s wrong with charity calls?

1. Do your research

When considering donating to a certain charity, check it out online. Go to CharityNavigator site and look up the charity you’ve spoken to. By the way: every US charity has a registration number. Ask for it to check it online later.

2. Ask the caller who are they working for

Are you speaking to a volunteer, or to a telemarketing company’s employee? Don’t be afraid of asking. And if the call is from a telemarketing company, ask the caller how much of your donation will go to the charity. The law requires that companies tell you.  If the caller says he or she does not have that information, then terminate the call.

3. Don’t give money over the phone

Avoid sharing your credit card information or any other kind of personal information over the phone. Since it’s never safe, regardless of who you’re speaking to. If you want to donate money, ask the caller to either send you a letter or tell you their website’s address. Or send a check to your favorite charity or drop it by the charity’s office.

4. Check the charity’s privacy policy

Since some charities sell their lists of donors to third parties, you should always be careful. If you don’t want to share your information with other groups, don’t donate to any charity that does not promise privacy. You should find the charity’s privacy policy on its website.

–> Read also: The Should I Answer app protects your privacy. And unlike other apps, it’s for real

5. Never donate under pressure

Whenever you are put under pressure or made to feel guilty or selfish if you don’t want to donate, better hang up. A legitimate charity will never treat you like this.

6. Get a spam blocker

Also, get a reliable protection against robocalls and scam calls that will get you rid of all unwanted calls for good (and for free, as well). Learn how to get a call blocker. Or get a free spam blocking app for your Android right now.