FTC warns about schemes linked to quake, cyclone

Scam Watch

June 15, 2008|By Dan Thanh Dang

Be wary of potential charity scams seeking help for victims of the China earthquake and Myanmar cyclone, the Federal Trade Commission warns.

Typically after major catastrophes, scam artists might try to take advantage of both disasters by creating bogus fundraising operations, the FTC says. Consumers should be cautious of appeals that tug at your heartstrings, especially when it comes to pleas involving current events, according to the FTC Consumer Checklist.

If you are asked to contribute to a cause, the FTC recommends that you ask for the name of the charity if the telemarketer doesn't promptly provide it.

Ask what percentage of your donation will support the cause described in the solicitation. Call the charity to find out if it's aware of the solicitation and has authorized the use of its name.

Do not provide a credit card or bank data until you have reviewed all information from the charity and made the decision to donate. Ask for a receipt showing the amount of the contribution and stating that it is tax deductible.

Avoid cash gifts for security and tax-record purposes, and pay by check to the beneficiary and not the solicitor.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.