Palmer Rodak & Associates
Palmer Rodak & Associates
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Beware of charitable donation scams

As planned giving grows in popularity, it becomes more and more important for people to be able to distinguish between legitimate charitable organizations and scams that masquerade as charities only to get fraudulent hands on well-meaning people's money. While charity scams might be enabled by modern society and the internet, these same things provide people with the ability to do their own research and ideally avoid falling prey to a scam.

As explained by Forbes, there are websites designed to give people insight into what organizations are actually legitimate charities. Two of these are Charity Navigator and Charity Watch. On the Internal Revenue Service website people can even conduct searches to see a list of organizations identified as exempt. People considering making donations to a particular entity can also look for online reviews as a means of finding potential problems.

The Federal Trade Commission notes that there are some tell tale signs that a particular request for money might not be legitimate or legal. One of these is when a person soliciting a donation becomes overly pushy and tries to force a potential donor to make a decision immediately. Offers to help facilitate expedited delivery of cash funds are also concerning.

Donors should always ask questions about and of the organizations to which they are contemplating giving money. If an organization refuses to explain how the money will be used or detail the entity's mission and methods of providing assistance, donors should avoid giving money until more research has been conducted. 


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Palmer Rodak & Associates
Certified Family Law Specialists State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization

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