Avoid Charity Frauds

Charitable Gift Planning

Many people in North Carolina try to take advantage of year-end tax deductions, including tax-deductible contributions to charities. Legitimate charities help serve many purposes in communities and for causes that may have personal meaning for those making donations. However, many charity scams take advantage of an individual’s goodwill and do not use the money as claimed.

According to the North Carolina Department of Justice, fake fundraising events may operate under the guise that they are raising money for a particular charity. When donating money to fundraisers—ensure a donation by making a check directly out to the charity and not the fundraiser.
To ensure monies are donated to valid charities, here are a few more tips for choosing reputable places to send donations:
  • Understand typical scam tactics, like phishing. Review our posts about Health Scare Reform Scams and North Carolina Back Tax Scams that outline typical phishing methods.
  • Google “The Name of the Charity+SCAM” and read the results. This is one quick way to determine if others have been scammed already.
  • Request charity information in writing. Valid charities have donor documents that display their name and address.
  • Check North Carolina charities with the Secretary of State. The fundraising registry lists the records of charities so that donors can research the complaint history of charitable organizations.
  • Avoid requests for minimum amounts. Legally, individuals may donate as little or as much to charity as they desire. Scams usually impose high minimum donation requirements.
If you have been taken advantage of by a charity scam in North Carolina, file a complaint. You may also need to review prior tax returns with a North Carolina tax attorney if you had deducted donations that you later learned where made to a fraudulent organization. Have you taken a trip to support a charitable cause? Learn about tax tips for charity travel.
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