If you're looking to help our friends in the South, make sure the charity you're donating to is legit! There's so many scams nowadays that prey off of the goodness of your heart. This link below will let you know if a charity is real or not.
According to officials, all charities soliciting in Florida are required to register and file financial information with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Those excluded from registering are religious, educational, political and government entities.
To check if an organization is registered before donating, visit Check-A-Charity., courtesy of Consumer Protection, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Consumer Protection also recommended the following to protect yourself from scams:
- Do not judge an organization based solely on its name. Many organizations have names that sound like those of reputable organizations but may be fraudulent.
- Ask for a copy of the charity’s financial report to determine how much of your contribution is going toward the cause and how much funds administrative and fundraising costs.
- Beware of pressure tactics to give immediately. Don’t let emotional appeals or photos persuade you into giving. Make sure the solicitation is legitimate.
- Some charitable groups employ paid solicitors, in which case, not all of your donation will go to the charitable cause. Check to see if this is the case.
- Ask if donations are tax deductible.
- Never give cash. Contribute by using a secure payment method sent to a verified organization.
- For more information on how to protect yourself after a storm, visit Pinellas County Post-Disaster Consumer Tips [link.mediaoutreach.meltwater.com]. To report suspected fraud, call (727) 464-6200.
Source: ABC Action News
Article Pic: Getty Images