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When you want to give back to charity, whether you’re looking to give back to an organization you hold near and dear to your heart or want to support a good cause, donating is a great way to help make the world a better place. However, others will take advantage of the kind and giving nature of others by creating fake charities and scams to take the personal information and money of others to commit identity theft. The following blog explores charity scams in further detail to help you learn how scammers take your information and what you can do to avoid being a victim. You’ll also discover how a San Diego County identity theft lawyer can assist you through these complex times.

What Are Charity Scams?

As the name suggests, charity scams are set up by thieves looking to take advantage of the generosity of others. Often, these scams become more prevalent around the holiday season or when natural disasters occur. In many instances, you’ll find that these scammers can make their con look more legitimate. For example, they can make it so the caller ID reflects the name of their fraud charity or create a duplicate website that looks like a legitimate website.

Additionally, scammers can create “charities” that sound too close to legitimate organizations. For example, you may assume you are donating to the Humane Society when in actuality, you are donating to the Humane Association.

How Can Thieves Get My Information?

When you donate to charities, it’s essential to understand how your information can be used. Not only is the thief looking to take your money, but the information you provide can be used to commit theft. When you donate, you may need to provide information like your name, address, email, and phone number on top of your card or banking information. This can be used to steal your identity.

How Can I Prevent Being a Victim of Identity Theft?

If you are worried about being a victim of identity theft but still want to give back to organizations, understanding how to do so is critical. Before donating, you should do research to ensure the organization is legitimate. You can also ask for the full name, email address, and website to ensure the charity is legitimate.

Additionally, you should examine the website to look for red flags like inconsistent information, addresses that don’t exist,  or spelling methods.

Finally, if you receive a phone call from the charity, and the individual on the other line continually tries to pressure you into donating immediately, this is likely an indication that the organization isn’t legitimate.

If you believe your generosity has been taken advantage of by a scammer posing as a fake charity, it’s imperative to take steps to minimize damage. At Barthel Legal, we understand how devastating these matters can be, especially when trying to give back to the community. Connect with our team today to learn how we can assist you through these matters.