NOW:53211:USA01012
http://widgets.journalinteractive.com/cache/JIResponseCacher.ashx?duration=5&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdata.wp.myweather.net%2FeWxII%2F%3Fdata%3D*USA01012
27°
H 27° L 27°
Cloudy | 3MPH

BEWARE OF CHARITY FRAUD

Jan. 28, 2010

Disasters, like the earthquakes in Haiti, can bring out the best in people. But scammers often will try to take advantage of a disaster by tricking people into sending them money.

 

Scammers who use the U.S. Mail to misrepresent charities can be prosecuted. The penalty is a fine or up to five years’ imprisonment, or both. If a financial institution is affected, the penalty can include a fine of $1 million, imprisonment for up to 30 years, or both.

 

How can you tell which solicitations are legitimate and which are not? The U.S. Postal Inspection Service offers the following guidelines when donating to charities:

 

If you’re unfamiliar with the charity or if there is anything in the solicitation that makes you suspicious, ask for its annual report and financial statement.

Make checks payable to the organization only — never to an individual.

Be suspicious of solicitors who say they will accept your donation in cash only. Con artists want cash so there will be no paper trail for authorities to follow.

Report any suspicious organizations to your local Postmaster or Postal Inspector.

If you’re unfamiliar with an organization, or if the name is close but not the same as a well-known charity, you can check it out by visiting the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance website. Or write the Alliance at:

 

BBB Wise Giving Alliance

4200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 800

Arlington, VA 22203

 

Report any suspicious mail concerning relief charities for Haiti by calling the Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455 and selecting option 5.

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.


Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» Westbound I-94 near Miller Park to close for 31 hours beginning Friday night 12/18

» Carran rejects Lisbon job offer; Brown Deer's Janecke accepts 12/18

» Crews clear 2 crashes that closed northbound I-43 Updated:  12/18

» Homestead boys shutout Nicolet in third quarter in 65-30 rout 12/17

» Wolf comes home as Homestead girls hoops team beat Nicolet, 51-41 12/16

» Flu hits hard at Glendale-River Hills School District 12/16

» Man sentenced to prison in optical store fatal shooting Updated:  12/16

» Mequon-Thiensville residents will vote on $18.2 million referendum proposal 12/16

» I-43 reconstruction project approved by feds 12/15

» Shorewood apartments project seeks $5.5 million in village financing Updated:  12/15

» Eisenhower girls beat Shorewood, 50-32 12/12

» River Hills woman killed in driveway accident Updated:  12/12

» Cable firm opening Glendale headquarters 12/5

» Sushi restaurants to open on North Shore: Ginza in Bayside-Fox Point, Kawa in Glendale 12/4

» Mequon lawyer indicted on 33 counts related to fraud, money laundering Updated:  12/3

» Glendale dad gets 41 years for shooting sons during driveway argument Updated:  12/2

» Whitefish Bay appoints village manager 12/2

» Shorewood police chief to retire after 33 years 12/1

» Brown Deer boys hoops team falls to inspired King, 68-52, in opener 11/28

» Wisconsin native killed in robbery attempt on California hiking trail 11/28

» Nicolet tennis court project receives rezoning approval from River Hills 11/21

» The Cheel offers a taste of Nepal in Thiensville 11/21

» Paper will be delayed by holiday 11/19

» Candidates for Lisbon post named 11/18

» Mequon teen ODs on alcohol after chugging gin with Cedarburg girls 11/18

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Advertisement

Deal Watch - Milwaukee

Milwaukee's Best Discounts & Deals

Advertisement

Local Business Directory

CONNECT