Net Talk: Charity scams
Published Wednesday, January 20, 2010 12:42PM EST
Q - Some people went through a lot of trouble to cheat people out of their money?
Yes, it's incredible how some people act like vultures whenever people are suffering. There are fradusters, who normally run Nigerian letter scams, who have turned their focus to sending out emails and letters that are soliciting cash for Haiti. Some people have also gone door to door asking for cash.
The Red Cross issued an alert about letters asking people to send cash to Haiti via Western Union. That should be a major red flag, since legitimate aid agencies would never ask people to wire money.
Q - So how do people know if a charity is legitimate?
Check out Revenue Canada's website, since all charities must be registered for tax purposes.
Revenue Canada has tips for people spot charity scams:
- Confirm that the charity is registered
- Ask where the money is going
- Write cheques to the charity, not an individual
- Refuse hard-sell tactics that pressure you to donate immediately
Q - What if people want to know more?
CTV Montreal has set up a page on our website that lists all of the legitimate charities. They have secure sites that allow you to donate over the internet.