State regulators are advising would-be charity donors to make sure their money is going to legitimate organizations.
"The holiday season is a time many Pennsylvanians will generously support charities and nonprofit organizations through financial contributions," Secretary of Banking & Securities Richard Vague said in a statement Monday. "Unfortunately, there are also many bad actors seeking to prey on this generosity by masquerading as charities while redirecting funds for personal enrichment."
The Banking & Securities Department and the Department of State released a list of scam "red flags," such as:
- Names that deceptively mimic those of official charities
- High-pressure solicitation tactics
- Requests for donation by wire transfer or gift card
Scammers may also insist their purported organizations devote 100% of contributions to charity. Every organization has administrative costs, and it's legitimate for some portion of contributions to cover them, the two departments said.
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