Pride Month is here, and one of the best ways to celebrate it is by donating to LGBT charities. However, some people take advantage of your pure intentions, play with your emotions, and perform LGBT charity scams. The next thing you know, your money has not been donated to help address the needs of LGBT members but to scammers instead. To learn why people of the LGBT community should watch out for charity scams, the signs of charity scams, and the ways to avoid these types of scams, check out the following article!
Why the LGBT Community Must Watch Out for Charity Scams
Helping the LGBT community is made easier with the presence of LGBT charities and nonprofit organizations such as Family Equality Council, Point Foundation, and The Trevor Project. However, remember that scammers are everywhere, and they use meaningful events like Pride Month to fool more people.
You should watch out for these charity scams because your money might just be used to fund scammers—not the LGBT community who keeps fighting for their rights. If you agreed to send money via wire transfer, gift cards, or even cash, then expect that you will never get your money back. Sharing your personal information also makes it easier for scammers to steal your identity.
Signs of Charity Scams During Pride Month
To avoid experiencing financial, mental, and emotional struggles while trying to donate, learn to spot the following signs of LGBT charity scams:
- They urge you to give your donation right away. Note that a real LGBT charity would appreciate any donation regardless of when you make it.
- They want the donation to be done via wire transfer, cash, or gift cards. These are the favorite methods of scammers because you can barely trace the money.
- Scammers will send you a thank-you message for making a donation, although you don’t recall making one. They use this as a strategy to build a connection and make you feel comfortable with them.
- They will send unsolicited emails containing suspicious links. Scam artists will urge you to visit the links and sites, which may include malware that can destroy your devices.
- Their websites look sketchy. Scammers may be quick to imitate the websites of legitimate LGBT charities, but these won’t be as detailed as the real ones. Rather, there is scarce information, and if you navigate the site, you will find out that it’s newly set up.
- They ask for your personal and financial information. Legitimate LGBT charity organizations won’t ask for your Social Security number or bank account details.
- They give you vague answers if you ask them about how they will exactly use the funds. They’re using the names of LGBT charities, but they obviously don’t support similar causes.
How to Avoid LGBT Charity Scams
Aside from knowing the signs of LGBT charity scams, learn how to avoid them with the following tips:
- Look closely at the charity’s web address. Scammers often mimic the names of known LGBT charities, so don’t click any strange links because you might just be required to enter your financial data.
- Avoid paying in cash or by wire transfer and gift cards. Fake LGBT charities will ask for these methods because there’s no way for you to get the money back. So, donate using a check or your credit card.
- Ignore unsolicited requests for donations via text, email, or your social media accounts. If you haven’t researched or contacted them before, do not respond to their messages because they will just attempt to collect your personal information and your money.
- Ask specific questions like what percentage of your donation will be used. Scammers will often say that 100% of your donation will be used to serve the LGBT community and its causes.
- Never give scammers access to your personal and financial information. They will only use this data to drain your bank account.
- Conduct thorough research before donating your money. This includes checking websites like Charity Navigator to verify whether the organization exists. You can also search the charity’s name and use terms like scams or complaints to see what people are saying about the organization.
- Contact the LGBT charities directly if you want to make a donation.
- Keep track of your donations. Reviewing your statements will help you ensure you’re not charged more than the amount you planned to donate. You can also make sure that you won’t be repeatedly charged for such donations.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
Donating to LGBT charities is indeed one great way to celebrate Pride Month. However, scam artists use your pure heart to make money through LGBT charity scams. So, remember the tips we have shared above to avoid these scammers. To catch anyone pretending to be from an LGBT charity, visit Social Catfish and complete a reverse search.
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