If you’re feeling generous this holiday season there are a few ways you can make sure that you are donating to legitimate charities and non-profit organizations.
Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin released a list of schemes that people fall for during the holiday season.
“Affinity fraud” is often carried out by someone you know, where schemers convince people to invest in supposedly legitimate businesses.
“The fact that they’re a cousin, or have a relation, or someone that you may have some affinity with, is not a good reason to put your money there as an investment,” said Secretary Galvin.
Another scheme that targets the elderly is often done over the phone where someone pretends to be a family member and asks for money or banking information.
“People should be very cautious in this period, they should be thinking that even though this is a time of good will, and we obviously want people to be generous to legitimate charities. We don’t want people scammed, or feel that they have to give to some group,” said Galvin.
In Massachusetts, any organization that collects money is required to register with the Attorney General’s office. Each year, a report is filed with the AG showing how much money was collected and where exactly the money was spent.
Don’t let anyone take advantage of your generosity this holiday season; do your research before sending any money.