The world that we live in is a mixture of good and evil. We have all kinds of people in our society. While a part of it works hard to make life better for others, the other part is all about benefitting themselves even if that means taking unfair means. Charity is one of the purest services to mankind that one can take part in. While there are so many authentic and honest charitable trusts around us who work relentlessly to help the needy, there is a section that looks to make easy money under the pretext of charity. So in this article we will be telling you about some common charity frauds and offer you some tips as to how to avoid them.
Methods of some common charity frauds
- Internal fraud:This is the most unfortunate case among the charity frauds that take place. The organization may be authentic and most of the members are honest and hardworking. But there can still be the black sheep who would go about pocketing money wherever there is the slightest scope for him to do so. They are hard to nab and on the pretext of something or the other they manage to siphon off the charity money into their own pockets. Charity credit cards too are misused by these dishonest individuals and without any knowledge of the management they manage to fill their pockets. This can however be checked by the regular auditing and strict measures taken against the wrongdoers to set an example.
- False expenses: This too is a part of internal frauds and often results in the worst charity scams. The wrongdoer in this case forges some expenditures which do not exist at all. Once they are in charge of the money they simply pocket the amount without the slightest of knowledge among the authorities. This too can be avoided if the authorities ensure that all the payments are based on the display of receipts which pass a strict scrutiny process.
- External frauds:
This is among the most common charity frauds and almost all the charitable trusts are vulnerable to this type of fraudulent activities. They involve the use of fake invoices by external agents. These are in lieu of products which have never even been received or purchase and a careless move can result in a successful case of charity fraud. It is tough for the staff of a very large charitable trust to always check if the goods have actually been purchased or not and they payment once made is a successful attempt by the fraudsters. To stop this from happening you must ensure that the invoices are addressed to a genuine owner who would verify if they have at all been purchased or not,
- Unauthorized fundraising: This is how fake charities make a lot of money without anybody getting to know. Sometimes influential people misuse their goodwill in the society. Like we all know, fundraising is an integral part of a charitable trust. Some of the common charity frauds take place because the fundraising process is not genuine and thus all the money that was collected ends up filling the pockets of the person or group who help the fundraising. If you are wondering how to avoid them, always research in detail before you turn up at a fundraising event and invest your money into charity.
- Credit card scams:
This is probably the most unique case among the common charity frauds. In such cases an individual offers to donate a large sum of money to the charity. What they ask for in return is that they transfer half of the amount to another favorite charity of his. The catch lies in the fact that there exists no other charity and the other account is usually his own. After making away with the money they would most likely disappear, never to be seen again. The credit card from which he made the first transaction is usually a stolen one and there remains no other way after this to nab these fake charities.
- Be aware of the similar name frauds: This is one of the most common charity frauds. In this case, the fraudsters set up a website or an organization with the same name as that of a reputed charitable trust that is well known. If you are not careful enough while making your donation you would be thinking you are donating to the original organization. But all you would be doing in the process is giving away your hard earned money for nothing and making the attempts of these vile creatures a success. So always be on guard when you donate.
- Be extra careful after disasters:
Disasters are sad but what is even sadder is that people try to make money out of such tragedies. The fraudulent activities are tenfold increased after a hurricane or a typhoon, tsunami or an earthquake. Knowing that people are more likely to donate, the fake charities are floated up in all nooks and corners. While we recommend being careful all the time while making donations, during a disaster it becomes all the more important.
- Never donate money over the phone: You receive countless number of phone calls that claim to take some of your money for a cause. Almost always these are cases of frauds and we strongly advice you against making such donations. These are among the most common charity frauds because even if that is not the case, chances are that the telemarketing partner would grab a large share of all the money they make. Instead try to donate directly and avoid the middlemen.
Now that you have gone through this article you know for a fact that fake charities are a real thing. They exist in the most unexpected forms and while you think your hard earned money is helping the deprived, it may actually in some cases be going to some corrupt people’s pockets. These worst charity scams should be an eye opener for you so that you can stay out of this and your charitable work is actually dedicated to the needy.