Monday, April 22, 2013

Nonprofit Fraud: Charity Identity Theft

by Gary Snyder

Charity fraud or charity scams is one of the newest forms of committing identity theft. Basically, it consists of an individual or a group of persons who willingly misinterprets their fundraising intentions to solicit money from their victims using their fraudulent causes.

While legitimate charities aim to raise money to be given to those who they promised to give it to, charity scammers aim to get as much money as possible from people thinking their funds are going to for a good cause.

This list will help you determine whether a charity is legitimate or not.
    1.     Ask for detailed information about the charity. They should provide you with the name of the charity, the address, and their contact information.
   2.     After you get the name, conduct some research. Some charity frauds use names that are identical to the names of legitimate charities.
   3.     Call the charity before making a donation. Some scammers use the name of real charities to collect money.
   4.     Contact highly credible organizations who keep watch of various charities to confirm if the one you are giving money to is clean on their list.
   5.     Keep a record of your donations.

To protect your privacy, you can also seek privacy protection and credit monitoring to make sure that there is nothing fishy going on with your credit accounts. Take note that criminals can shift from one method of identity theft to another as long as they have your personal information. Thus, people behind charity scams can use your data to commit credit scams, too.

Remember thieves have no honor. They will do just about anything to acquire your money. (Source)

Nonprofit Imperative gathers its information principally from public documents...some of which are directly quoted. Virtually all cited are in some phase of criminal proceedings; some have not been charged, however. Cites in various media: Featured in print, broadcast, and online media outlets, including: Vermont Public Radio, Miami Herald, National Public Radio, Huffington Post, The Sun News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal (Profile, News and Photos), FOX2, ABC Spotlight on the News, WWJ Radio, Ethics World, Aspen Philanthropy Newsletter, Harvard Business Review, Current Affairs, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, St. Petersburg Times, B, USA Today Topics,, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times...and many more Nonprofits: On the Brink (2006) Silence: The Impending Threat to the Charitable Sector (2011)
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