Tips for donors to avoid scam calls, crowdfunding sites

Hurricane season officially kicks off June 1, which means hurricanes, tornados, fires, and other natural disasters will be in the news. While it’s heartbreaking to see people lose their homes and businesses, it’s more appalling when scammers exploit such tragedies to appeal to your sense of generosity.

The FTC shared some tips for making sure your donation goes to a legitimate organization or project that will have the most impact.

1. Research the organization. Search online for the name of the organization or project, plus the word “complaint” or “scam.” Read what others say the about it. And watchdogs like BBB Wise Giving Alliance and Charity Navigator can also help your research. Do your homework before donating to any organization.

3. In the wake of the Notre Dame Cathedral fire, be aware that donations to foreign organizations generally are not tax deductible. If tax deductions are important to you, make sure the group is established in the U.S. Check the IRS’s Tax Exempt Organization Search to see if your donation would be tax deductible. Remember that donations to individuals, like in crowdfunding sites, are not tax deductible.

Read here for more tips to avoid charity scams, particularly on crowdfunding sites.

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