Stretch Your Dollar: 5 tips to avoid falling victim to fake charities

Stretch Your Dollar

It’s been three days since the world watched the Notre Dame Cathedral go up in flames. And in that short amount of time, more than a billion dollars has been raised to help with the rebuild.

As nice as it is to give, you need to be careful about where your donations are really going. Experts say it’s times like this when fake charities pop up and prey on people who want to help.

We are stretching your dollar with five quick tips to help you avoid falling victim to a fake charity. These come to us from fighting

Related: Why you should ‘wait before you donate’ towards helping the Notre Dame Cathedral

First, don’t let familiar names fool you. Fake charities will use slightly different names of reputable charities hoping you won’t notice, like they’ll use .com instead of .org.

Next, beware of time-crunched charities! Especially in a response to a disaster. They may say they’re only accepting donations for a certain amount of time or if they hit a certain amount by a specific time, someone will match it. That’s a red flag.

Seek expert opinions! Turn to Charity Navigator, Guide Star or for reviews on some charities.

Related: $1 billion raised to rebuild Paris’ Notre Dame after fire

And how you pay shouldn’t matter. Be cautious of charities that seek specific payment methods.

Lastly, there are a number of “Go Fund Me” campaigns out there. It’s important to be aware those are unofficial fundraisers. 

While you can give wherever you’d like, you should always research the organizer.

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