There is an uncountable number of charities operating in the country, many of which have done an outstanding job helping the needy. There are also several fake charities that are only interested in money-making. The most harmful part is that these scammers can leak your private details or hack your accounts. At the same time, it is good to donate to the ones who need it. Online donation scams can destroy your life, so you must be careful of scammers.
How can you identify the scammers?
It is tough to pick up the scammers from the name, as the scammers will use words that sound like real charity organizations. Also, they are equally apt in pursuing you to donate. It is only you who can take action, grant, or refuse. If someone asks you to contribute to a charity you have never heard of, then decline. Why? Because scammers are unknown to the public, they have to make them known and pursue them to donate. If you would still like to donate, contribute to a popular website on the internet or an NGO you know maybe a much better option.
How can you pay?
It is a good practice to pay in cash at the registered office of the NGO and ask for a receipt of your donation. This makes sure that your money is being properly utilized. This also makes sure you are not giving money to scammers. For online payments, it is better to pay via credit/debit cards. Don’t give your bank account number, personal details, passwords, OTP to anyone. They shouldn’t ask for any of these details, and if they ask, as often done in donation scams, it is better to refuse to donate politely.
Are we responsible in any way?
Sometimes, the mistake is at our side also. Usually, there are long, boring descriptions that people do not usually read and tick on the “I accept” checkboxes. Even if you don’t know everything, you must have a clear idea about who is benefitted from your donation, the procedure of help, and any certification/achievements of the company. If any of these seem dubious, not clearly stated, or not given on their official website, don’t go for the donation. The organization otherwise is more likely a scammer. Most of the donation scams are due to our own carelessness.
What to do next?
The summary is that you always have to be alert when it comes to online donation scams. Even if you make a mistake and make a false donation, you have to be alert. You must check your bank account frequently after that so that no further transactions occur without your notice. If you see some suspicious transactions happening or any OTP or device alert coming to your phone, make sure you don’t leak your OTP to anyone or enable change of device. Informing the police timely can also save you from a lot of damage. Scammers do this to hack your account further and withdraw all your bank money. If you are not alert, your money is useful only for the luxury of the scammers. If you are alert, then your donation will surely do good for those in need.
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Written by Himadri Paul