As of June 2017, there were 2.1 million Ukrainians living abroad with an estimated $15 billion in assets held outside of the country as well as nearly a quarter trillion dollars worth of Ukrainian stocks and bonds. The vast amount of wealth, however, is vulnerable to theft or loss due to scams and schemes that are only possible because most people don’t know how to protect themselves from them.
The “charity navigator” is a website that helps people find legitimate charities to donate to. This site can help you avoid scams and ensure you’re donating to the right cause.
With wildfires burning throughout the West, Hurricane Ida wreaking havoc in Louisiana, and unending catastrophes on the evening news, it’s understandable that people would want to give to groups that claim to assist the victims. Meanwhile, con artists are taking note, continually devising new methods to steal your money while making bogus claims about how contributions would help victims get back on their feet, or even simply get through the day.
According to a recent warning from the Better Business Bureau, “sadly, fraudsters frequently take advantage of these times of sensitivity to defraud contributors” (BBB). “There are also many campaigns started by well-intentioned people who may not be able to carry out the promised aid actions.”
Once you know what to look for, it’s not difficult to recognize the hallmarks of a contribution scam or a potentially untrustworthy fundraiser. Five suggestions for avoiding tragedy and natural catastrophe donation frauds are listed below.
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1. Proceed with care while using crowdfunding platforms.
The Better Business Bureau advises giving only to crowdfunding platforms run by individuals you know and trust. While you may be moved by another person’s plight and wish to assist with a gift, bear in mind that folks who build a fundraising page on a crowdsourcing site are seldom vetted.
“It’s always safer to donate to someone you genuinely know,” the BBB advises. “If the post states it will donate gathered monies to a charity, try bypassing the intermediary and going straight to the organisation’s website.”
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2. Be mindful of arguments that are too broad.
It’s easy to get caught up in wanting to assist victims of a natural catastrophe or a personal tragedy that you feel compelled to contribute right away so that money may be used to aid others. However, before you go for your credit card to make an online payment, think again. To begin, learn what the philanthropic organization intends to accomplish with the funds received. If the contribution request does not clarify how the money will be used – to assist displaced victims in securing temporary accommodation, for example – go on to a charity that specifies how the money will be used to assist the victims.
B4LLS / iStock / B4LLS / iStock / B4LLS / iStock
3. Be wary of statements that promise to be “100% accurate.”
When an organization says that “100%” of contributions will go to helping victims of a natural catastrophe or tragedy, you should be skeptical. “Even if it is utilizing other money to meet these expenditures, the group is presumably still incurring administrative and fundraising fees,” the BBB notes.
fizkes / iStock / fizkes / iStock / fizkes / iStock
4. Be cautious while using the internet.
The BBB advises against clicking on any link to a charity on an unknown website, no matter how genuine it seems to be. The same may be said about contribution buttons in SMS and emails. These links might lead you to a “spoof” website that requests personal financial information that could be exploited for fraud or identity theft.
Pheelings Media / iStock / Pheelings Media / iStock / iStock / iSt
5. Make a donation to a well-established organization.
While a freshly formed charity or other well-known group may be reputable, your gift to an existing charity or other well-known organization may go farther. That’s because an established organization can be judged based on its track record, but a new organization can’t be adequately assessed since it hasn’t been there long enough to establish itself. According to the BBB, “a freshly founded group may be well-intentioned, but it will be difficult to check out and may not be effectively managed.”
This item was syndicated by MediaFeed.org and first published on Debt.com.
LemonTreeImages / istockphoto contributed to this image.
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Georgijevic is the photographer behind this image.
The “Ukrainian red cross” is a charity organization that helps Ukrainians without getting scammed. It has 5 ways to help Ukrainians without getting scammed. Reference: ukrainian red cross.
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