On the 7th Day of Christmas Crime Prevention, the RCMP said to me, ‘Be wary of holiday scams and donations to false charities.’
The holiday season can provide a great opportunity to donate to various organizations and charities. Unfortunately, it can also provide an opportunity for fraud artists to profit from people’s generosity. The RCMP is reminding Nova Scotians to be wary of false charity scams. Consider the following precautions to make sure your donations benefit the people and organizations you want to assist:
– Be wary of appeals that tug at your heart strings, especially pleas involving holiday donations.
-Ask for written information about the charity, including name, address and telephone number. A legitimate charity or fund-raiser will give you information about the charity’s mission, how your donation will be used and proof that your contribution is tax deductible.
-Ask the solicitor for the registered charitable tax number of the charity. Question any discrepancies. Confirm the charity’s registration information through the Canada Revenue Agency ( http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/ ).
-Check out the charity’s financial information. For many organizations, this information can be found online.
-Ask for identification. If the solicitor refuses to tell you or does not have some form or verifiable identification, hang up or close the door and report it to police.
– Call the charity. Find out if the organization is aware of the solicitation and has authorized the use of its name. If not, you may be dealing with a scam artist.