- An official-sounding name doesn't make an organization official. Make sure the organization shares important information online, like its founders and board members.
- Organizations must file with their state before soliciting donations. It's worth a call to the appropriate Department of State before sending money.
- Sites like CharityNavigator can tell you more about a non-profit organization, but even legitimate pop-up charities might not be listed in the immediate aftermath.
- The IRS website allows visitors to search for an organization's 501(c)3 (non-profit) status. But the IRS can take months to grant the status, so again, if timely giving is important, you might not yet know whether your contributions are tax-deductible.
- Don't give anyone cash, and don't give money to an organization that calls you out of the blue. The Office of the New Jersey Attorney General puts it best: Don't give simply because of a pathetic “sob story.”
What To Do If You've Donated To A Fraudulent Charity
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