In time of crisis, such as devastating earthquakes, many of us look to for ways to help those affected by donating money. Unfortunately, scammers often take advantage of emotions and newsworthy events and ramp up their efforts to by creating fake charities or other schemes. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website, if you are looking to support those in need, it’s important to know the signs of a scam and how to protect yourself.
Avoid scams and make sure your donation makes it to where it’s needed:
- Before you donate, take time to do your research. Search for the cause and organization online and add in search words like “review,” “scam,” or “complaint.”
- Find out how your money will be spent and read the fine print.
- Pay by card or check and avoid wiring money or gift cards.
- Make sure the website you enter your payment information on has “https” in the URL to ensure your information is encrypted and transmitted securely.
- If you have any suspicions about the charity, consider researching and donating to another organization.
Monitor your account transactions and statements after you donate to make sure you were only charged the amount you donated. Visit the FTC Avoid Charity Scams Page for more information and resources on donating to charities.
If you are concerned your MVSB accounts may have been compromised in response to a fake charity donation, please call us directly at 800.922.6872 so that we can assist you with protecting your accounts and identity.