Tomorrow is Veteran's Day. It is the day when you applaud our armed heroes for giving valuable services to the country. Many of you have already started contributing to charitable organizations to shower your honor for their efforts. But scammers are very much active here to spoil your endeavor. And, honestly speaking, it is really heartbreaking when you find that telemarketers and professional fundraisers share a huge percentage of donors fund.
You may come across a scammer on phone anytime and get ripped off. To prevent this fraudulent activities Better Business Bureau (BBB) has issued some warnings to fight back with the crooks.
Ken Berger, chief executive of Charity Navigator, a charity watchdog said, "Crooks gravitate to Veterans charities because they're lucrative. Helping veterans is a very powerful mission that pulls at many people's heartstrings". He further said that there are so many well established foundations of Veterans group. But they used to appoint telemarketers and fundraiser as they have no time to run a charity. As a result many scammers can take the advantage of it and make people fool.
BBB said, you can get solicitation in many form such as by mail, by phone, social media even in person. So be very careful while dealing with them. Try to verify if they actually belong to any charity before giving donations. It is your duty to verify the true identity of solicitation in order to help veterans for their great service to country.
Tips to avoid scammers while donating to Veterans
Follow some tips to avoid deceivers who can come to you in any form. The tips are offered by Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance. Try to follow the information to ensure that your hard earned money is going to the real charity.
There are many charity reviews website such as Give.org, Guidestar.org, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and CharityNavigator.org. Try to research well before giving money to a charitable organizations. This is one of the best ways to avoid scam while supporting our heroes.
Check the identity (Name)
Most scammers use names which are similar to the real charities. Check carefully if there is any letter or if any word is missing. Thus you can understand if the charity or the person is real or fake.
Check out the description they are using while collecting money for veterans. If possible ask them for example and what is their goal behind this job.
Don't rush when you're on phone
You may get phone calls for donation. Take a minute and ask for the details if you're really interested. Don't disclose your information over the phone.
Deal the situation diplomatically
If you're not sure about the charity or its identity, then try to deal with them tactfully. Tell them that "You can't give", "you're not sure" or "you'll give after verifying".
Some more tips for the donors from experts
Daniel Borochoff, the president of CharityWatch (formerly the American Institute of Philanthropy) shared some more tips to the donors. Here are some of them.
- He said if you find people are asking for contribution for the Vets, then its better to ignore them instead of giving them money. Some people out there (retail stores, street) are asking for money while wearing military uniform. But that doesn't mean they're belonging to the real Veteran family. So if you're not sure about the identity. don't open your wallet to give them money.
- According to Borochoff, "If you start getting a lot of unordered merchandise, (the charity) is probably really inefficient." Don't trust the mail you received in your inbox. You can get lots of prospective donors flags, desk sets, blankets and other premiums in your inbox. This strategy is often used by fake charities to get donations.
- Don't trust if the the person praises a well known military hero. He can mislead you by saying impressive words.
- Don't trust the phone calls unless you already know the charitable organizations. According to Borochoff "Those calls are typically made by fundraisers, which means only a fraction of your contribution will go to veterans programs."
Lastly, your determination can help you fight with the scammers. It is our duty to show the honor responsibly to the dedicated Veterans. If you're really determined to not give money to the scammers, then they can be banished from our society in the near future.