Tips to avoid scams, contribute to legitimate charities for Giving Tuesday

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Monday, November 27, 2023
CA offers tips to avoid scams, fraud on Giving Tuesday
Here are some tips to make sure your charity donations are going to legitimate organizations.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- It's the season of giving - but for some it's the season of taking.

In advance of Giving Tuesday, state officials are warning the public to look out for charity fraud and scams.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta appeared Monday in Los Angeles at the Downtown Women's Center to highlight a legitimate organization that depends on the public for contributions.

And Bonta offered tips to look out for the fraudsters.

For starters, if unfamiliar with an organization, make sure it is a registered charity with the California Department of Justice.

Don't trust emails or texts sent to you unsolicited.

Don't pay with cash and don't go buy gift cards and give out the number as a means of contributing to a supposed charity.

Also avoid fund transfers via Zelle, which are nearly impossible to reverse, if you are unsure about the recipient.

In addition, protect your identity by not giving out your Social Security number, driver's license number or other personal information.

"Be careful when making digital donations," Bonta said. "A portable card reader, a QR code, or a fancy digital solicitation may look impressive but remember anyone can make a QR code, buy a portable card reader and send a text message or make a graphic."

"Always confirm again that the donation is going to a real charity that is registered with the California DOJ. Then confirm your receipt or credit card statement is accurate and reflects a donation to that."