Charity fraud schemes depend on the public's generosity. Scammers set up fake organizations to take advantage in times of tragedies and disasters.
The act of helping others by donating money to charity in times of tragedy or disasters is the greatest act of humanity. However, federal authorities are on guard these days as unscrupulous charity frauds take advantage of the public's generosity. Instead, the money is going to the fake charity organization creators.
Timothy Benson, working as chief analyst at Cyber-Forensics.net, a cyber forensic service for online scam victims, said in an interview:
"Messages requesting donations from suspicious charitable organizations commonly appear after high-profile natural disasters or tragedies."
How do charity frauds impact donors?
It is often in the wake of tragic times when the givers wish to help the needy, and scammers daunt their efforts by tricking donors. They employ clever approaches like posing as government agents, building fake charity organizations, and posting messages on social media urging people to donate money using phrases like "each penny/donation/dollar counts."
While spotting charity frauds is often easy, a Georgia scammer Kai Brockington took a rather lucrative approach to implement his charity fraud. Rather than stealing money from individual givers, he convinced people to lie to their employers about donating to his charity so he could pocket the matching funds provided by the companies.
An account given by a special agent of the FBI revealed that Kai created a real charity-Our Genesis Project-on paper. Investigations tipped off by a bank regarding suspicious activities on the charity's account revealed that the firm never did anything other than land Brockington $668,000 in donations over about four years.
Firms can do so much to maintain transparency to curb such frauds. "Transparency is the key. Charity firms state exactly where the money is going? Who is supposed to benefit? How do the charity firms handle the received donations?"
How to avoid falling victim to charity fraud?
The safest way to avoid charity fraud is by taking control of charitable giving and developing proactive plans to give directly to credible charity firms. Well-reputed firms ensure the maximum portion of a contribution goes to the needy and fulfils the purpose of donations.
But charity frauds may come in any form: social media, emails, fundraiser platforms, emails, text messages, cold calls, etc., and sometimes it becomes difficult to identify them. Unethical contractors and other scammers pretend to be affiliated with the government and often sound legitimate. However, there are ways to avoid falling victim.
Timothy Benson, who analyzes and responds to emerging cyber threats, shares tips on ensuring givers are donating to legitimate organizations.
- Donate to established charities or groups that are trusted and well-recognized.
- Be aware of organizations duplicating names of reputable organizations.
- Beware of new organizations overnight claiming to aid victims in recent high-profile disasters.
- Verify the legitimacy of email links by contacting the charity organization directly on registered contact numbers.
- Research on the organization's establishment year. Track the record of the firm.
- If an organization asks people to donate using cash, virtual currency, gift cards, wire transfers, it's probably a scam on the way. Pay using safe credit card gateways or checks.
- Practice good cyber hygiene: Never click unsolicited email links, attachments, or texts.
- Type links manually instead of copying the links.
- Be aware of scamming tactics: Use caller ID, check caller name, and don't give in to vague sentimental claims.
- Don't rush into making donations.
- Never provide personal information in response to robocalls, emails, or any text.
- Ensure to check the website's address.
What to do if scammed in Charity fraud?
Charity organizations receive millions of funds, and unfortunately, it is also an open door fr scammers who prey on waiting to capitalise on donors' goodwill to line their pockets. But scam victims should follow some measures when scammed by such crooks:
Document the details of charity fraud: Write down details of conversation and messages which encouraged donating. Be sure to include:
- Person's name who asked for a donation
- Name of the organization they mentioned
- The date when the fraud happened
- Any contact information shared during the occurrence of fraud
- Medium of communication, payment mode
- List any sensitive data shared
Take action by reporting: Inform state and federal agencies about charity fraud.
Send a charitable solicitation complaint as applicable in-state/country/region.
Seek cyber help to retrieve money: Charity frauds are usually done to steal money. And an obvious goal would be to get it back. To make things easier, seek help from a fund recovery specialist agency.
Why is seeking fund recovery the way to go?
Fund recovery agents will track the perpetrators and build a strong case against such scammers leading to prosecution.
How to search for a good fund recovery firm?
The best way to identify credible fund recovery is by looking at consumer reviews (we have heard good things about Cyber-Forensics.net) on social media platforms or discussion platforms. However, selecting the professional cyber help team must be made carefully, as there are also fake reviewers who post fake positive comments to sound legit.
- Make sure to research about the cyber firm
- Look at their record
- Contact only through formal mediums
- Gather complete details about chargeback assistance and other operations.
Cyber-Forensics.net is committed to providing the most accurate tracing service for victims of online scams. Cyber-Forensics.net empowers and simplifies the process of tracking down the cyber-criminals and assists in recovering the funds and creating an atmosphere for a negotiated settlement. For more information, please visit http://cyber-forensics.net/.