Earth day is a time where people can appreciate the Earth’s beauty and can learn about ways to better take care of their planet. However, scammers will try to take advantage of this precious day and use it as an excuse to steal their victims’ money. They will claim to be a part of a charitable organization that was founded to help take better care of the planet we live on and pretend to spread awareness on how we can make a difference. However, they are all lies so that victims think they are giving to a good cause, but instead are giving scammers their money. This is why it is important to know how to avoid charity scams this Earth Day
What Are Earth Day Charity Scams?
Scammers use Earth Day topics, such as Earth clean up, beach clean up, environmental education, and more to advertise a charity. Their goal is to make it look like the charity exists for a good cause so that more people will donate to the charity. They call people using robocalls and use phishing emails to spread their word about this fake charity so that they can get their hands on their victims’ money and information.
Victims click the links of these emails, thinking that they are about to donate to a good cause. There are also other people who answer the robocalls and agree to donate. They are asked personal information about themselves, and the victims either tell the caller or enter their information on online forms. Then, they are asked to give them their financial information either by phone call or by online form. With this information, scammers can commit identity fraud and drain their victims’ bank accounts.
How to Avoid Earth Day Charity Scams
- Research the charity you would like to donate to. If you want to donate to a specific charity, it is always a good idea to Google it and look at the reviews before donating. If there are a lot of positive reviews, then donate to the charity. Otherwise, it’s probably better to wait until you can find a reliable charity to donate to.
- Use an organization to help you find a legit charity. Organizations such as BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, CharityWatch, and GuideStar are all reliable sources to use when looking for charities.
- See if a charitable organization has a .org at the end of its website. The charities that have .org at the end of their websites are the ones that are legit since they are a governmental organization. If they have a .com at the end of their website, there is a chance that it’s a scam. However, not all charitable websites with a .com at the end are scams, there are some legit websites that have .com at the end of their website. You just need to do your research first before donating to that website.
- Don’t give out personal information that doesn’t make sense. For example, a charitable organization won’t need a social security number or a birthday when you donate to their organization. They may need your name, address, today’s date, and how much you are donating. If they ask for more than that, then you are probably donating to the wrong charity.
- Don’t make payments for a charitable organization using gift cards or wire transfers. If there is a charitable organization that is asking for gift cards or wire transfers, then chances are you are dealing with a scammer. A charitable organization will only ask for a debit card number on a secure online form as a method of payment. They might even ask for cash if it’s over a phone call. If the charity you are donating to is accepting other methods of payment, then chances are it isn’t a real charity.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with after reading about Earth Day charity scams. If you were involved in a scam, make sure to report it to the FTC as well.
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