Be wary of end-of-year charitable appeals

Date: November 29, 2018 | Category: News

As we head toward the end of the year, the Missouri SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) wants to offer some tips on avoiding scams when you make charitable donations. These tips are from the Federal Trade Commission:
If you are considering giving to a specific charity, do an online search with the name of the charity and the words “complaint,” “review,” “rating,” or “scam.”
Don’t make any donations in cash or gift card, or by wiring money. Pay using a credit card or check.
Keep a record of donations, and reconcile with your records to make sure you are charged for only what you agreed to donate.
If you feel rushed or pressured into making a donation, don’t do it.
If you receive a “thank you” for a donation you never made, don’t send the donation.
Don’t think that a phone call from a local number is necessarily local. Scammers can change caller ID to any number they want, even law enforcement or the IRS.
Make certain that you know specifically what the donation will pay for.
Don’t fall for an offer of sweepstakes winnings in exchange for a donation. It’s an illegal scam.
Any red flags or uncertainty should make you consider giving to a different charity.
Report scams to and the Missouri Attorney General’s office. Check out these organizations that can help you research charities: BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, and GuideStarck. All have websites.
As always, report suspected Medicare fraud or abuse to the Missouri SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) at (888)515-6565.
This project was supported, in part by grant number 90MPPG0040, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.