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Don’t Fall Prey to a Charity Scam!

Who Are You Donating to?

Scam artists often try to take advantage of people’s charitable instincts, generosity, and good intentions. When you make a philanthropic donation, take steps to protect yourself from these unscrupulous criminals, and establish that your contribution is really going to support a legitimate cause.

  • Verify the charity’s authenticity through online resources like BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, and GuideStar.
  • Beware of charities with names similar to better-known charities; these are often scams.
  • Before donating to anyone claiming to be fundraising for local firefighters, local police, or other local groups, confirm the affiliation with the local agency.
  • Visit the charity’s official website. Websites for most legitimate non-profit organizations end in ‘.org’ instead of ‘.com.’ Avoid websites that ask for detailed personal information.
  • Exercise caution if you are asked for information that is not necessary for making a donation. Scam artists may request personal information, such as a social security number.
  • Do not respond to emails in which a person claims to be a victim and asks for specific help.

How Are You Donating?

  • Avoid clicking links in emails or on social media sites to donate, as they may install malware on the computer being used. Instead, go directly to the charity’s website.
  • Never donate over a phone call or via email. Always ask for information to be mailed to you.
  • Always make donations with a check.
  • Recognize that organizations asking for donations in the form of cash or wire transfer could be scams, as these transactions make it impossible to get your money back.
  • Always keep track of how much you have donated, to what causes, and when. This information will be useful during tax season.

Where is the Donation Going?

  • Ask how much of the donation is going directly to the cause.
  • Be skeptical of claims that 100% of donations go to the cause. All charities need to allocate resources towards administration and fundraising.

What Are You Getting Out of It?

  • Always verify that the donation is tax-deductible, not tax-exempt.
  • Be wary of any assurances regarding a sweepstakes winning. Donations to a charity are not prerequisites to winning a sweepstakes.

About U.S. Security Associates

U.S. Security Associates (USA) is one of North America's largest security companies, with 160 locally-responsive offices providing premier national security services and global consulting and investigations to customers in a range of industries. Recognized for world class customer service, leading-edge technology, and an enterprise approach to risk management, USA offers optimized security solutions to meet specific customer needs. USA is committed to building quality security and risk management programs that are Safe. Secure. Friendly.® The Securing Knowledge series is part of the extensive and growing library of reference and training tools that contribute to USA's award-winning customer service and benchmark security programs. USA's investment in training and development resources is reflected not only by BEST Awards from the American Society for Training & Development, consistent ranking on the Training magazine Top 125, and technology-driven quality management system, but also by the company's leadership team, security officers, and service excellence on a daily basis.

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