12 Scams of Christmas: Fake holiday charities
This is the time of year when crooks come out to cash in on your goodwill and busy schedule. One of the biggest scams every holiday season involves fake charities.
News 13's Jon Chrisos is On Your Side as we continue to count the 12 Scams of Christmas.
As we open our hearts and wallets this holiday season, scammers are out there hoping to cash in on your generosity. The Better Business Bureau says it gets hundreds of complaints about fake charities every year around this time. That's why fake charities comes in as our 5th scam of Christmas.
It's hard to miss this sign, or sound, of the season. The Salvation Army's red kettles, more than a hundred of them spread out all over the state. When you put your money in here, you know where it's going.
But online or "over the phone" donations make it easier for scammers to make their wishes come, swindle you out of your money. So the Better Business Bureau is singing this tune: give, but give wisely.
There are so many great causes and charities - but you have to pay close attention to names of charities. Take for example John Donald Cody. The FBI says he ran the fake charity U.S. Navy Veterans Association. He used it, agents say, to de-fraud donors of up to a $100 dollars in 41 states.
McAfee online security expert Robert Siciliano says scammers are also using the holiday season to pretend like they're raising money for sandy relief. Bad guys are registering thousands of domain names with the name Sandy, because of the hurricane, people want to give of themselves and they are giving to the bad guys
The better business bureau says research before you give and don't give in to high pressure, emotional pitches.
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