SMP cautions folks to be wary of charities asking for money

Date: December 2, 2016 | Category: News

Many of you are probably getting requests for end-of-the-year giving. If you are considering a donation to a charity, your Missouri Senior Medicare Patrol warns you to be wary. Charities use the phone, face-to-face contact, email, and the Internet. So do the scammers. The Federal Trade Commission offers these tips to keep you safe from scammers: Ask for the charity’s exact name, address, and phone number.
–Research the organization online — especially with the word “complaint(s)” or “scam.”
–Call the charity to confirm that it has people soliciting donations.
–Ask if the caller is a paid fundraiser. If so, ask the name of the charity they represent and the percentage of donations that go to the charity.
–Keep a record of donations.
–Never send cash. Pay by check — made payable to the charity — or by credit card.
–Never wire money to someone claiming to be a charity. Scammers often request donations to be wired because wiring money is like sending cash: once you send it, you can’t get it back.
–Do not give your credit or check card number, bank account number or any personal information until you’ve thoroughly researched the charity.
For more information on charities and scammers, visit the website. To learn more about Medicare fraud and scams, visit the website.
Report suspected Medicare fraud to the Missouri Senior Medicare Patrol at (888) 515-6565.The SMP is funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, Administration on Aging. Visit for more information.