How Safe Is It to Donate Online to Charity?

How Safe Is It to Donate Online to Charity?

Charitable organizations struggle every day to raise public awareness of their specific passions, causes, and plights. It is, however, difficult to understand sometimes why they need to work so hard to receive charitable donations. For few charitable organizations or supporters of recent tragedies, it is assumable that not everyone is aware of their current needs. Every one experiences differently and some may not have experienced any exposure to appropriate information needed to raise their awareness to those particular charities and their requirements.

Nonetheless, the hard work carried out by charitable organizations as well as voluntary charities is invaluable to communities, helping and supporting people in the greatest needs across the globe. Charities mainly rely on donations being received from people and merchants to continue their work particularly when it is economically tough. Most contributions and donation appeals are legitimate and genuine, but unfortunately there are fraudsters too who can badly exploit a person’s charitable nature and steal money which you, as a donor, believe is going to help the charity.

Modern technology aspect has hugely contributed to make it much easier for people to donate online to charity so that they can help even those needy people living far away from their locations. Unfortunately, this platform is the most loved spot for frauds to do criminal activities and steal the money being donated to charities. Most charity frauds are very clever since they are well acquainted with what heartstring to pull and how to make you believe the scam is genuine.

Forms of Online Charity Scammers

Many people think that it is a far better option to extend their donation circle and reach genuine people in need around the world when they donate online to charity. As mentioned earlier, scammers are there to exploit your charitable attitude by stealing your money which you want to donate online to charity. Online charity scammers are mostly found in form of bogus charity sites. These are fake websites representing those charitable organizations that do not exist in real. They temporarily install their set up especially when well-publicized disasters are raved in news, such as earthquakes and food crisis.

Furthermore, online charity scammers use phishing emails to trick you into the way that you disclose your bank account details including passwords or pin codes. The same thing can be carried out when you make payments over unsecured websites across the internet. These scammers and thefts make use of spyware and viruses so that they can access to your personal information and bank account details stored on your laptop or mobile phone.

How to Safely Donate Online To Charity

Online charity frauds discourage many people from availing the option to donate online to charity. It is, however, not wise to stop donating money for a cause you are most passionate about. Instead, learning a few simple precautionary ways to fight against online fraud is a better option to protect your money and cause when it comes to donate online to charity.

Here is how you can spot charity scams and save yourself when choosing online charities for your donations.

1. Know The Charitable Organization

Never donate online to charity that you are not aware of. Check their mission statement which is usually accompanied by a clear narrative of charitable program achievements as well as a list of the board directors. Since online donation is subject to visiting certain websites and paying as per your choice, it is crucial to verify the charity’s website address. It could be done in a number of ways. For instance, when you are up to donate online to charity, do not click on a hyperlink provided in an email sent to you with any charity name. Instead, type the website URL into the browser yourself in order to visit the actual charity’s site. Since anyone can purchase and use an URL with “.org”, make sure you are not assuming a charity website with .org as an authentic one. You can verify the same using the relevant charity regulator or making a telephonic contact with the charitable organization itself.

2. Make sure the Website is Secured

Before you donate online to charity, make sure the website you are visiting is secure and uses protected payment options. Unsecured websites are usually accompanied by a padlock symbol in the browser window which pops up when you are trying to login to the site. Therefore, make sure that the website you are on does not have the padlock as it would indicate its authenticity. Likewise, the website URL must begin with ‘http://” because the ‘s’ represents security of the website.

3. Do Not Respond on Unsolicited Charity Emails

Online charity scammers may spoil your capacity to donate online to charity by sending you scammed donation appeals through emails. The easiest way to recognize these emails is to have a close and careful look at their names and email ids which would be consist of something you have never heard of. Make sure you do not click on any of links embedded in them and do not respond at all. At this point, it is recommended to report such emails to Action Fraud and afterwards delete them.

4. Do Not Entertain Unusual Donation Requests

You may receive donation appeals through various channels, requesting you to donate online to charity via money transfer companies, such as MoneyGram or Western Union. Make sure you do not respond to any of these donation appeals since this is a common tactic being used in most charity scams.

5. Ensure Charity’s Authenticity

Some charity scams occur when you divulge into personal details or credit/debit card information in order to donate online to charity. Luckily, Visa MasterCard secure code as well Safe Key schemes of American Express come with added safeguards to ensure safe transactions when paying through debit or credit cards. Moreover, when you donate online to charity, it’s wise to look for a privacy policy and go through it carefully. Not doing so may end up with losing your privacy over online frauds. In short, make sure the charity is authentic so you do not lose your money over online fraudsters.

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