Hurricane Charity Scams
Produced by Jay Slagel, Vice President of Risk Management
It is a sad, but real fact that charity fraud scams spike in the wake of a major event or catastrophe, such as a hurricane. Educating your consumers about these scams can help ensure they are better equipped to detect, prevent and report these attacks.
The culprits of these heinous crimes typically use email, text, phone calls, or social media ploys to lure victims to send money to a bogus charity or to download malicious software so they can then gain access to the private information on the their device.
Click Here to Download and share our "Consumer Scam Prevention Risk Checklist" to protect against these and other fraud schemes.
Charity scam prevention steps to share with your consumers:
- Do not respond to any unsolicited incoming e-mails, and do not click links contained within those messages, because they may contain viruses.
- Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as members of charitable organizations or officials asking for donations via e-mail or social networking sites.
- Beware of organizations with copy-cat names similar to - but not exactly the same as - the names of reputable charities.
- Rather than follow a purported link to a website, use online resources to confirm the group’s existence and its non-profit status.
- Be cautious of e-mails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files because the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.
- To ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes, make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf.
- Do not be pressured into making contributions; reputable charities do not use such tactics.
- Be aware of whom you are dealing with when providing your personal and financial information. Providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft.
- Contact the charity directly to verify their validity prior to making any type of donation.
- Do not respond to any charities soliciting donations via money transfer services - No charity would request funds that way.
- Be especially wary of organizations with website URLs ending in ".com" or “.net” claiming to be charities. Most legitimate charities have website URLs ending in ".org.”
- Visit the FTC's page on charity scams to review articles and resources, including links to organizations that will help verify individual charities.
- Report suspicious email solicitations or fraudulent websites to your financial institution and to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
With the support of your employees and consumers, you can thwart scams like these to prevent loss exposure and retain trust in your organization.
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About Allied Solutions
Allied Solutions, LLC is one of the largest providers of insurance, lending, and marketing products to financial institutions in the US. Allied Solutions uses technology based products and services customized to meet the needs of 4,000 clients along with a portfolio of innovative products and services from a wide variety of providers. Allied Solutions maintains over 15 regional offices and service centers around the country and is a subsidiary of Securian Financial Group, Inc. Allied Solutions has tools and resources that can help you keep an eye on the potential areas of impact, protect against collateral losses, and stay on top of any new events, bulletins, and regulations as they happen. Click Here to learn more about Allied Solutions' fraud & risk services.
Content in the blog posts are the opinion and views of the writer, and don't necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Allied Solutions.