Is That a Real Charity? Tips to Avoid Scams
— August 10th, 2018
These days, scams that try to trick innocent people out of their hard-earned money are all too common.
Sadly, seniors are often the target of scams. They are the favorite victims of thieves because they tend to be more polite and trusting because of the era they were raised in. They also usually have some money saved up or equity in their houses. One common scam that often targets seniors are charity scams.
Companies call claiming to be collecting donations for various causes. They may even claim to be from well-known organizations or use names that are very close to those of recognizable charities. Charity scams can be hard to spot, but there are ways caregivers can help their aging relatives to stay safe from scams and hang on to their money. Below are some tips caregivers can use to help seniors avoid charity scams.
Research Before Giving
Caregivers should remind their older family members not to give to a charity without researching it. Conduct an online search using the charity’s name and keywords like “scam” or “complaints.” There are groups online that evaluate charities where you can find more information, such as:
-BBB Wise Giving Alliance.
Caregivers can write a list of questions for seniors to ask callers regarding the charity they claim to be calling for. Keep the list next to the telephone. Some questions to ask are:
-What is the charity’s website address?
-What is the charity’s mailing address?
-How much of each donation goes directly to the cause?
-Will the charity provide proof that the donation is tax deductible?
-If the caller is reluctant to provide the information or doesn’t know, instruct your aging relative to hang up the phone.
Watch for Clues
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers the following clues that a charity organization is a scam:
-The caller thanks the senior for a pledge they do not recall making.
-The organization name is close to the name of a well-known organization.
-The caller tries to pressure the senior into giving money now, without allowing them time to think or conduct research.
-The caller asks that the senior make a cash donation or sends money via wire transfer.
-They say they’ll send a courier or delivery service to collect the money.
-The organization claims the older adult will receive guaranteed sweepstakes winnings in return for a donation.
One of the best ways to help your aging relative to avoid charity and other kinds of scams is to talk to them about fraud. When caregivers hear about a new scam going around, they should tell the older adult about them so they can spot the scam if they are contacted.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care Services in Markham, please contact the caring staff at Geri Health Home Care today. Call us at 416-431-6266. Serving Greater Toronto Area, Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan.