The Federal Trade Commission Announces "Operation False Charity"
It's always important for donors to be aware of to whom, exactly, they are giving their hard-earned money, and the FTC is finally taking charge of the growing problem of philanthropic scammers. Last week, the Federal Trade Commission announced a new program to pursue and prosecute fundraisers whose schemes have proven to be bogus. Named "Operation False Charity," this program is going after fraudulent solicitors who use persuasive messages to get donations which they funnel into their own coffers.
Last Wednesday, "the FTC and 48 states announced a nationwide sweep targeting scam artists who claimed to be raising money for military veterans, firefighters, and police officers. In reality, almost all of the money went to the fundraisers themselves." How can you, as a donor, guard against such scams, and discriminate between an honest, and a bogus, charity? Check out this site on charity fraud, and you can learn about the warning signs of a scam, go through the charity checklist and find out details about individual organizations (both valid and fake).
So let's keep on giving, but, like always, give smart!