What are Charity Scams?
While people are becoming more vigilant and cautious these days just to avoid being fooled, scammers keep on revising their schemes and doing pretty good at adopting to these changes too. One of these schemes is using charity aka as charity scams. Banking on the generous human nature of many people, scammers use calamities and causes to extract donations from their victims when in fact, the funds don't proceed to causes that they promise.
How to Spot and Avoid Charity Scams?
Charity scammers' most commonly used approaches are by calling, emailing, mailing and even knocking on your doors. They often sprout and come out right after a calamity or disaster by taking advantage of people's sentiments towards the unfortunate event and solicit for donations. You may avoid getting duped by these charity scammers by verifying their identities and affiliations and double checking on their claims. Don't just easily believe in what the fundraisers say. You may also check other tips on how to avoid charity scams here.
Below is a classic example of a charity scam letter which I've just recently received and let's check the most commonly used methods and approaches by charity scammers.
1. Generic greeting
Since scammers simply blast emails to thousands of email addresses they've gotten their hands into, the greeting doesn't necessarily include your name which is the first giveaway that the email is obviously sent to thousands of many other email address.
2. Generic domain names for email address
The email is from firstname.lastname@example.org. The domain name is a generic website for creating emails, much like Yahoo! which is an easy giveaway that the person is not really whom she claims to be.
3. Unverifiable identity
When you search on a person's name on Google, there are not much search results that support of the person's identity like social accounts of blog. Let's say the person is anti-social and doesn't blog, but in today's time when it looks like everyone's sharing, and sometimes over-sharing, I doubt it.
4. Providing another email address/number/address/phone number
Giving another contact channel is one of the most commonly-used tactic by scammers as it helps them to trim down or filter those who are receptive or interested with their approach. You will then be included in their next level of approach as you have just shown an interest in their introductory tactic. The first email is just a test to gauge your level of interest while the next email address is where "warm contacts" and by responding, you only prove to these scammers that their first approach is working on you.
Those are just some of the most commonly used tactics not only by charity scammers but by almost any other scammers. You may want to take a look at other examples of scams, au pair scams in particular on my previous blog post.
Top 10 Online Scams
BBB has just recently released an infographic of the Top 10 Online Scams to serve as a warning to everyone that there are many people out there who would use people's lack of information just to extract some funds so beware, be aware. You may also want to post other samples of scam emails so you may help warn others.