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How to Avoid Charity Scams

At First Southern National Bank, generosity is one of the values and principles that guide our decision making. Giving is something that we strongly believe in, as we encourage our employees and customers to share their time, knowledge, and resources with those in need.

Estimates suggest Americans donate approximately 2% of their disposable income to charity each year. In 2017, Americans gave $410 billion to charities.

In honor of International Charity Fraud Awareness Week, Attorney General Andy Beshear issued a charitable giving guide to help Kentuckians avoid falling victim to charity scams.

“Charity scams occur throughout the year, but tend to peak throughout the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons when donors feel more inspired to help others in need and get the added bonus of qualifying for a tax deduction before the end of the calendar year,” Beshear said. “By following my Charitable Giving Guide, Kentuckians can make sure their donations go to serve legitimate charities that will use their donations wisely.”

Beshear’s charitable giving guide provides these tips to help protect Kentuckians from scams, especially during the busy last-quarter of the year.

Plan your giving in advance

Don’t respond to mass charity solicitations, suspicious charity requests that scammers typically use on social media ads, by phone or through email.

Identify a charity aligned with your values

Before making a donation, think about which organizations align with your values. Don’t be afraid to ask a fundraiser about the organization’s mission, goals and history of success in supporting veterans, children, animals, food insecurity or other worthy causes. Consider if you want your donation to support a large or small, local, national or international charity.

Decide the appropriate donation level

Donate at an amount or level you are comfortable with, not giving in to any pressured upsells.

Research charities

Only donations made to qualified charities are tax deductible. Donors who are not familiar with a charitable organization should verify their 501(c)(3) status and what percentage of their income goes to the charity’s purpose.

Watch out for imposters

Be skeptical of social media ads and charities with similar sounding names or concepts. Make sure the website or mailing address you are sending your donation to is the correct.

Beshear also reminds Kentuckians never to wire money or use gift cards or cash to make a donation. And don’t provide detailed personal information such as your Social Security number or bank account information, which is typically asked for by bogus websites looking to steal your identity.

To find out more about how you can protect yourself from charity scams visit https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/KYAG/bulletins/2679c02

View the Charitable Giving Guide https://ag.ky.gov/Documents/CharitableGivingGuide.pdf


Jenna Walker
Communications Specialist

(606) 365-3555 Ext: 19405
Email: jwalker@fsnb.net