By now I hope most people know not to fall victim to those bogus emails from some unknown prince in a far of land who needs your help getting some large sum of money out of his country and only you can help… You know the email I mean, right? And you know it’s bogus, right? Of course you do.
Unfortunately, not all scams are as blatantly obvious. In fact, some crafty thieves even disguise their ruse in the form of a charitable organization. Duping well-intentioned people into donating money to a fake charity has to be about as low as you can go, if you ask me. (Shame on you bad people of the world!)
Just like you should be wary of door-to-door solicitors who arrive unannounced asking for money for their cause, you should be wary of strange emails that come with requests for donations.
Here are a few tips for donating to your favorite causes safely.
- Research – Not familiar with the charitable organization? Ask questions and do your homework. Did you know that all charities must be registered with the state? It’s true, check it out.
- Look for Security – Whenever you make money transactions online, make sure you see the “s” as in “https.” The “s” stands for secure and means your information is safe. You don’t want any bad guys stealing your info while you make a donation.
- Ask for a Receipt – Not only does it provide you with proof for your taxes, but it also provides a paper trail, just in case.
- Donate from Home – Open WiFi hotspots are great for doing generic web surfing, but when it comes to giving out your credit card info, it’s safer to do it from home (from a secure network, of course.)
- Trust Your Gut – Still feel like something is hinky? Don’t do it. There will be other organizations on other days that need your assistance, wait for one that makes you feel secure.
There are many wonderful organizations in need of assistance online and in person, you just have to take precautions to make sure your money is going where you think it is.
To help you get started with holiday donations, this month five LifeLock for Life Sweepstakes winners will win a $100 donation to the charity of their choice and one grand prize winner will receive a $1,000 donation to the charity of their choice. Plus when you play to win, you will learn more about staying safe while making donations online. Good luck!
This is a partnered post as a LifeLock Ambassador. However all opinions are my own.