MoneyGram Warns of Potential Charity Scams Following Oklahoma Tornadoes
“Scammers show no charity, even when it comes to cheating communities
and individuals who lost so much in this storm,” says
A charity scam occurs when a scammer solicits a “donation” to benefit a particular organization. The organization may sound similar to a legitimate charity, and may even have a fake website that looks like an organization’s official site. “But once the donation is sent by money transfer, the scam is complete. The money does not go to the intended cause, and the donor can’t get their money back,” says Garner.
Garner says there are five red flags that signal a likely charity scam:
Name Game: The name of the organization is similar to a
well-known charity, but is slightly off – such as the word “United”
instead of “American” or “Organization” instead of “Association.”
Consumers can search
IRSwebsite for legitimate, tax-exempt charities.
- High Pressure: The caller needs an immediate answer and asks you to donate without taking the time to do any research into the organization. The FTC offers these tips to review before giving to a charity.
- Cash Only: The organization will only accept cash through a wire transfer – legitimate non-profit organizations accept multiple forms of payment.
- Lack of Information: Anyone soliciting donations should be able to answer questions about the organization and where the money is going. If they can’t answer specific questions, hang up or delete the email.
- Online Push: As internet and social media use continues to grow, charity scams thrive online. Multiple fraudulent organizations can prey on a donor’s goodwill quickly by pushing for a donation using online platforms.
Garner advises consumers to follow the
- Recognize: Consumers should look for red flags when an organization asks them to send a donation through a wire service, because scammers often request these methods knowing that once the money is sent, it cannot be retrieved.
- React: When a charity scam is identified, consumers should immediately put an end to any transaction or conversation – hang up the phone, delete the email, or end the back-and-forth messaging.
Report: Report the suspected charity scam to the local police,
and file reports with the
Federal Trade Commission, National Consumers Leagueand Internet Crime Complaint Center (if the suspected fraud was online).
Consumers should call 1-800-
As part of the company’s ongoing efforts to protect consumers from
Mike Gutierrez, 214-303-9923