How to avoid online donation scams
Most of us are eager to help out those in need, particularly in times of crisis and calamities. We also seek donation drives to serve as our bridge to extend our support and assistance. Donations, nowadays, can be shared instantly within just a few clicks online. However, there is undeniably a risk of fraud on donating, as some people also take advantage of this kind of situation as a scheme to scam. Here’s a guide on how to avoid fake charities and online donation scams.
Look for credible donation drives
It would be best to donate to trusted charities. Look for those who have already confirmed their charity work. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) also warns the public to donate to organizations with a proven track record of assistance during disasters.
Do your research
If you plan to donate to a person, a group, or an organization, do your own research first. You aim to reach the ones worthy of donating to; therefore, it is also worth doing a background check. Take the time to verify their identity and legitimacy. You can check their social media accounts and their recent posts or interactions to discern whether your donation would lead to those in need. Those who post liquidation from their donation drives indicates transparency.
Don’t trust people easily
Anyone can initiate extending help, but as much as possible, donate to those you know personally or whom you can trust. If they have no enough receipts to prove to you their good motive, you have the option not to trust them yet. If you are in doubt, then look for other reliable donation drives instead. Don’t just send donations right away; trust but verify.
Ask questions to confirm their intent
Don’t hesitate to ask some questions. Know their goal and their interest. Some questions can also help you make up your mind before donating; you may try to observe their answers to What is it for, Who will benefit, Where will it be donated, When will the proceeds be given away, and How they will make it happen.
They may also provide you photos for proof that you may verify, too, via Reverse Image Search. Reverse image searching is an image search tool that may help you find other sources of a specific image through major search engines and other websites across the web. Google search by image is one of the image search engines you can try. It either needs to paste the URL of the image or import a local image to search. It will give results such as a list of all the matching photos and their sources.
Look for warning signs
Be mindful of sketchy details and inconsistencies before sending them donations. Scammers often urge to get the donation immediately. If they are forcing you to send it ASAP, they might also be in a rush to scam you.
Be wary of people claiming to be a victim
Most scammers take advantage of the crisis to pretend as victims and prey on donors. Anyone can claim to be a victim; remember not to trust people easily.
Don’t give out personal or financial information
Remember not to share your personal information, including your credit card or any online account details. Protect yourself by securing any private or sensitive information that may be used against you.
Report suspected scammer
If you have been a victim or have spotted a scammer, report it immediately. Those scammers might seek more victims, and they need to be stopped. You may contact the NBI Operation Center at 0961-734-9450 or refer to the NBI Anti-Fraud or Cybercrime Divisions 85238231 to 38 or through these other numbers: 0917-189-3100 and 0975-1539146. You may also send a message to the NBI official website or Facebook account.
We aim to help, so let’s also help ourselves by being alert and cautious at all times. It would always be best if our efforts would truly reach the ones in need.