The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers to think before giving and making your donations count. Experts say charity scams are becoming more common and creative.
“What you want to do is to check up the person who is asking for the money. Hawaii has a requirement for the charities to be registered with them. Attorney General’s office has charity registration record and so you can check that. Regardless of where the charity is located,” said Lisa Nakao, Hawaii Better Business Bureau Office Manager.
Nakao says when it comes to individuals it can get tricky. Always give to someone, you know, or have a way of verifying who you’re giving to.
“What you can do if you see a picture sometimes, doing a reverse lookup of the picture reveals the true source of the picture. Lots of times it’s copied from someplace else and so that could be a way to check,” said Nakao.
If these scammers get a hold of your personal information they can sell it to a calling or mailing list. Once you’ve done your research and you decide to donate, Nakao suggests donating via credit card.
“I think credit card would be the best way because it does give you a timeframe to dispute if it doesn’t if it didn’t add up and if you think that this person is really not using the money as it should.
If you have a concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call Monday through Friday at 591-0222. You can also send an email to ActionLine@KHON2.com.