From the IRS: After an emergency or disaster, people rally to help victims by donating money. Unfortunately, this can give criminals an opportunity to prey on them by soliciting donations for fake charities. Scammers may also pose as federal agencies to dupe disaster victims trying to get disaster relief.
Summarizing the IRS Tax Tip
- Thieves may pose as representatives of a charity
- Scammers may set up bogus websites using names that sound like real charities
- Check whether the group is a qualified charity
- Don’t give out personal information to someone who asks for money (SSN, credit card or bank account info, etc.)
Our added tips
A quick and easy way to check the identity and tax status of a group is through CharityCheck101.org.
Each charity has a unique identifier called its EIN (employer identification number) – charity EINs are public info and a legitimate charity should be glad to share its EIN with you.