The Coronavirus pandemic has proven to be a unique experience for us all. It’s also made managing our finances a bit tougher. Although most of us wish to donate a few dollars here and there to others in need during this period, it’s best to do so with caution. Know that there are plenty of scammers out there who are taking advantage of the pandemic to fill their pockets. Protect yourself from these people and learn how to respond to potential scams before donating your hard-earned money.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alerted the public to look out for companies selling “vaccines,” testing kits, treatments, and air-filter systems that prevent or eliminate the virus. Protect your family by:
- Taking screenshots of emails or ads you see of possible scams.
- Reporting any calls, emails, text messages, and online ads that claim to sell Coronavirus treatment products to the FTC.
There are many genuine charities and fundraisers available to individuals and families affected by the pandemic. However, some scams involve thieves posing as real charities or using names similar to well-known ones.
If you do choose to donate money to people in need, first:
- Visit the website of the organization you wish to donate to. Also, research the organization to ensure it is genuine.
- Donate by credit card and never by wire transfer or gift cards.
- Check if the organization has reputable sponsors, like nationally-recognized businesses.