It is common for scam artists to impersonate charities to get money or private information from well-intention-ed taxpayers, after major disasters. Such fraudulent schemes may involve contact by telephone, social media, email or in-person solicitations.
Following are IRS tips to prevent scam artists from getting your hard-earned money or private information from you.
- Donate to recognized charities.
- Use this link Exempt Organizations Select Check to look for and check the legitimacy of organizations. Legitimate charities may also be found on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website at fema.gov.
- Don’t give out personal and financial information. This includes Social Security numbers or credit card and bank account numbers and passwords.
- Contribute by check or credit card or another way that provides documentation of the gift. Don’t give cash.
- See IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions to learn about qualified organizations if you plan to make a deductible contribution.
- Be aware of bogus websites that mimic legitimate charities.
- Don’t click links in unsolicited email from charities.
Taxpayers suspecting disaster-related frauds by email should visit IRS.gov and search for the keywords “Report Phishing.”
More information about tax scams and schemes may be found at IRS.gov using the keywords “scams and schemes.”