Hackers, scammers, cons and thieves take advantage of citizens’ generosity by sending e-mails, making phone calls or even setting up shop on a street corner and try to appear to be legitimate charitable organizations.
Do not donate cash: Anyone asking to come to your home or office and pick up cash is a scammer. Any phone calls or emails received requesting cash or to wire money transfers is a scam.
Be suspect of all emails requesting donations: I would never click on a link in an email, especially short URL’s. Always manually enter the domain name into the address bar. The best thing is to go directly to the organization’s website.
Check with the Better business Bureau: The first thing you should always do prior to making a donation to any charity is to check their credibility with the BBB. Go online to http://www.bbb.org/us/Charity-Reviews/ and search out the charity.
Give only to charities, not individuals: Any communication from someone requesting money because of their hardship is an obvious scam. But some people are saps for an emotional sob story. While you may be savvy enough not to fall for these scams, someone in your life who may be naïve could.
Consider giving to the Red Cross: The American Red Cross is the most known and credible organization on the planet for helping out those in despair. Give now and give as much as you can.
Never give out credit card numbers via an unsolicited email.
Never give out PIN or account numbers to anyone for any reason