Thousands of people will donate to charities in northeastern Wisconsin and across the country this Giving Tuesday, a special time for scammers.
Deceptive ads and misinformation sent directly to people’s phone or email can lead them to believe they are donating to a legitimate cause.
“Scammers use bogus websites and high-pressure arguments to solicit funds for bogus charities with the aim of stealing your money and personal information,” said Lara Sutherlin, director of the trade and business division. Wisconsin DATCP Consumer Protection in a press release.
The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions and DATCP offer the following tips to avoid becoming the next target of a scam:
- If you receive a phone call, email, or text from someone requesting a donation, do not make a payment over the phone.
- Do additional research
- Don’t click on links or attachments in emails, text messages, or social media posts with unknown senders
- Don’t share information with unknown senders
- Don’t give money through cash apps, cryptocurrency, or transferring money to people or organizations you don’t know.
- Watch for impostor website links or social media profiles: Check the spelling of the charity’s name on the account and website, as misspelled names can mean bogus organizations.
- Ask how your donation will be used and what percentage of your donation will be used for program services
- Ask a caller to send written documents about the organization.