Charitable Fraud Abounds, Especially Near “Giving Tuesday”
Scams take no holiday, and that includes what’s become known as Giving Tuesday.
The Tuesday after Thanksgiving often allows contributors to various causes to stretch their dollars through various promotions.
However, Maryland Secretary of State John Wobensmith and Attorney General Brian Frosh said donors should look for common red flags such as a lack of information about a charity.
“There are Marylanders across the state who depend on the generosity of donors for basic needs,” Wobensmith said. “And while we are grateful to our reputable charities, we urge our citizens to be on alert for scam artists who take advantage of unsuspecting donors.”
According to Frosh and Wobensmith, Marylanders can minimize the risk of being scammed while trying to give charitably by doing the following:
- Do some research before giving.
- Beware of social media sites that promote charitable organizations.
- If a telemarketer calls asking for a donation by phone, ask questions first and request additional information by email or mail.
- Pay close attention to the name and logo, and make sure that the charity you are donating to is the one you intended to give to.
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Marylanders can search the Maryland Charities Database to see if a charity is registered in the state.
If you think that you have been a victim of a charity fraud or scam, contact the Office of the Secretary of State, Charities and Legal Services Division by email at DLInvestigations_SOS@maryland.gov or by telephone at 410-974-5534.
“We are committed to connecting Maryland’s donors with tools and tips on how to give wisely,” Frosh stated. “Maryland is home to a number of nonprofit organizations worthy of your generous donation. As we approach the holiday season, it is important to be prepared and do your research before donating.”