Beware! 4 Ways to Spot a Phony Charity

( – Giving to charity can feel immensely rewarding. Yet, with so many legitimate organizations needing help, how can you ensure the charities you choose aren’t scams? Here are four tips to help you determine which organizations are legit.

  1. Background checks: If a charity is a scam, you’re unlikely to be its first victim. Before donating, research the organization you’re considering. Sites like and CharityWatch can help determine whether a company is legit. You can also contact your state’s National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCOnet) to check a group’s legitimacy.
  2. Don’t contact me: If a charity reaches out through email to ask for a donation, it’s best to delete the correspondence as spam because it could be a phishing scam. Don’t click on any links or send personal information. Instead, open a new browser and search for the organization. Read its website and look for reviews online before giving.
  1. Arm-twisting: An actual charity won’t demand an immediate donation. Any organization that tries to pressure you into giving right away could be phony. Legitimate charities will not use guilt tactics or stress to obtain financial assistance.
  2. One last tip: Read the name of the organization carefully. Some scammers will mimic actual charities but change one letter in a name, hoping the generous donor won’t notice. 

Sharing your abundance can brighten your life, so don’t let scammers dampen your spirit. Take the time to research before giving to charity, so your gift makes the best possible impact.

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