The plight of children from Central America pouring into America has caught the attention of many people as the government is working to both enforce our immigration laws while showing compassion for these children. Times like this bring out the best in many people and there are a number of charities including, most prominently, Catholic Charities USA that are providing humanitarian assistance to these children in need. Unfortunately, scammers are also taking advantage of the situation by either appealing to people through phony charities or by telephoning people pretending to be representing legitimate charities. In both cases, the money you contribute goes to a scammer’s pocket and not to help needy children.
Phony charities often have names that sound very similar to legitimate charities so don’t give to a charity unless you are sure that it is legitimate. A good place to go to find out if a charity is legitimate as well as to learn how much of your contribution will go to the charity’s charitable purposes and how much goes to its own salaries and administrative expenses is http://www.charitynavigator.org. As for telemarketing charitable solicitations, even if you are enrolled in the Do Not Call List, charities are allowed to call you, however, whenever you get a call, you can never be sure who is on the other end of the line so you should never make a charitable donation over the phone to someone who has called you. If you are inclined to give a donation in response to such a call, go to the charities website or call them at a number that you know is correct in order to make your contribution.