AARP warns about charity scams

Published 8:36 am Saturday, December 16, 2023

It’s the season of giving, and for those in the spirit, telling the difference between a real charity and a con can be a challenge. Legitimate charities make a big push at year-end for last-minute annual donations. Scammers know this and make their own end-of-year push to line their pockets.

If a charity solicits you for a donation, even if your first instinct is to contribute, be careful. Many fake charities have legitimate-looking websites and names, making them hard to discern as fraudulent. Others are registered nonprofits but devote little of the money they raise to the programs they promote. 

Research the charity on sites such as give.org, CharityNavigator.org or CharityWatch.org to make sure that it’s legitimate and to find out what percentage of their donations are actually used to serve their stated mission versus paying for overhead and fundraising.