Over the years I have warned you numerous times about various phony charity scams. Charity scammers are particularly loathsome as they take advantage of the generosity and compassion of people wishing to help other people through charitable donations and steal that money. The Federal Trade Commission has joined with law enforcement officials from every state in the country in a joint effort against scams promising the donations will help veterans and service members. The effort is called “Operation Donate with Honor” and it has already resulted in more than a 100 legal actions against such phony charities as Americans Disabled Veterans Foundation, Military Families of America, Veterans Emergency Blood Bank, Vets fighting Breast Cancer and Veterans Fighting Breast Cancer.
Phony charities often have names that sound legitimate and it is difficult to know merely from a solicitation whether or not the charity is a fake.  Prior to giving to any charity, I suggest you first look investigate whether indeed the charity is legitimate or not and the best way I know to do that is to go to http://www.charitynavigator.org where not only can you find out whether the charity is a scam, but also whether or not your donation will be tax deductible,  how much of your donation goes toward the charitable purposes of a legitimate charity and how much goes toward salaries, administrative costs and fund raising. Also, you should be hesitant about contributing to a charity through a telephone solicitation because even though charities and those collecting donations on their behalf are exempt from the “Do Not Call List,” you can never be sure when you receive a call purporting to be from a charity if it indeed is truly from the real charity. Through a technique called “spoofing” someone can fool your Caller ID into making it appear that a call is coming from a legitimate source when, in fact, it is coming from a scammer. Phony calls purporting to be from the IRS will often be spoofed to make it appear that they are originating with the IRS.
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