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.

Community Watch

» Whitefish Bay resident takes home grand prize at the Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge 7/25

» Social media story on the storms rolling through Milwaukee area 7/21

» Milwaukee's first surf shop rides into Shorewood Updated:  7/21

» Rock climbing wall, trampolines might come to Brown Deer business park Updated:  7/20

» Whitefish Bay baseball team ends Shorewood magic with regional win 7/20

» Nicolet baseball team goes down fighting in regional loss to Kewaskum 7/20

» Whitefish Bay's Rybakowicz shuts out Brown Deer in regional semi 7/20

» Initial Reaction Podcast: Wisconsin Badgers football, WIFCA All-Star game 7/20

» West Bend West's Burns beats Whitefish Bay baseball team on mound, at plate in sectional 7/20

» Maslowski oversaw creation of nine tax incremental financing districts 7/19

» Maslowski transformed Glendale in impactful career as city administrator 7/19

» Development is off the table in Wilson Drive discussions 7/19

» Debbie Roesner appointed to Fox Point-Bayside School Board 7/19

» Bublr makes push for extra bike rental stations in Shorewood 7/18

» #BestSummerEverNOW: Share your 2016 summer photos of you in the Milwaukee suburbs Updated:  7/18

» Live coverage: 2016 WIAA Summer Baseball Sectional Round Updated:  7/18

» NOW's user submitted stories, photos will be discontinued in early August 7/18

» Whitefish Bay baseball team wins regioinal title over Shorewood, 9-3 7/15

» Whitefish Bay sleep consultant is a dream come true for North Shore parents Updated:  7/14

» Suburban couple who scammed state aid programs avoid jail 7/13

» Three Lions Pub, Camp Bar allowed to have patio seating on the street 7/13

» Animator of 'Yellow Submarine' and other influential shows will appear in Whitefish Bay 7/13

» MVC Boys Club team takes third in volleyball nationals 7/13

» Millard earns 500th win as Homestead closes on strong note 7/13

» Sports Wraps: July 14, 2016 7/13

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Best Summer Ever

 

We've made it easy for you to get out and go this summer. From hitting the trails for a bike ride or walk, to where to find beer gardens in the area, to the best places to swim in Waukesha County to the best summer drinks and summer reads, check out our 2016 summer guide.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

CONNECT