The 12 Scams of Christmas #10: Bogus Charities

The 12 Scams of Christmas #10: Bogus Charities

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Everyone knows the sound of the Salvation Army bell ringers. It's one of the most noticeable and trusted ways to donate, but what about the not-so-trusted charities? Everyone knows the sound of the Salvation Army bell ringers. It's one of the most noticeable and trusted ways to donate, but what about the not-so-trusted charities?
Many of those scams will draw off recent natural disasters. Some will try to fool you into thinking that they are a real charity like the Red Cross. Many of those scams will draw off recent natural disasters. Some will try to fool you into thinking that they are a real charity like the Red Cross.
"If there's any doubt at all, don't. If it smells bad, if it looks bad, don't do it," said Jerry Tipton with the BBB. "If there's any doubt at all, don't. If it smells bad, if it looks bad, don't do it," said Jerry Tipton with the BBB.

By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Nothing says the holidays like the gift of giving, especially to those in need, but not everyone is honest about where your money is really going.

Scam Number 10: Bogus Charities

Everyone knows the sound of the Salvation Army bell ringers. It's one of the most noticeable and trusted ways to donate, but what about the not-so-trusted charities?

"We're talking about the sob stories you get in your email, your texts or letters," said Jerry Tipton of the Better Business Bureau of Greater East Tennessee.

Many of those scams will draw off recent natural disasters. Some will try to fool you into thinking that they are a real charity like the Red Cross.

"If you're not really careful, you will think this is a legitimate charity. And it's holidays, and you're feeling good about giving back, and you will turn over some money and then realize after the fact that this is not the real charity," said Tipton.

If you want to give, it's always safer to visit the charity's actual website, but make sure you enter the exact spelling. Some bogus charities will buy websites one letter off to make you think its legit.

"Proof it more than once," said Tipton.

Finally, do your research. If they're trying to scam you chances are they've tried on someone else. Check their online profile to see if they already have a reputation for ripping people off.

"If there's any doubt at all, don't. If it smells bad, if it looks bad, don't do it," said Tipton.

If it turns out to be a phony charity, make sure you report it to help others from falling victim to the same scam.


Our "12 Scams of Christmas" countdown continues Friday Nov. 15 with a scam that looks to intercept your holiday packages that might not be arriving on Santa's sleigh.

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