ENGLEWOOD, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
The giving spirit sweeps many during the holiday season. With charity
scams, fraudsters lure victims in with a number of ploys.
“The holidays bring out the best in people but scammers prey on this, so
it’s best to do research,” said Shelley Bernhardt, director of consumer
protection at Western Union. “A red flag is if you’re pressured to
donate immediately. Reputable charities will accept your contributions
anytime. If pressured, report it to the Better Business Bureau or
Here are some tips:
Do your homework. Ask the charity for information and do
independent research: Check its website; validate if it’s accredited
by organizations like the BBB Wise Giving Alliance or is licensed by
authorities. For a list of state offices, visit the National
Association of State Charity Officials (http://www.nasconet.org/).
Sidestep solicitations. If a charity contacts you out of the
blue, be cautious. Also be wary of appeals that look like an invoice.
Wise Giving Alliance advises it is illegal to mail an invoice
unless it bears a disclaimer stating you are under no obligation.
Resist rushing. If a charity is legitimate, they’ll accept your
Guard your generosity. Never give cash and if writing a check,
make it out to the charity. Never use a money transfer company to send
money to someone who you haven’t met or share your banking or credit
If you sent a Western Union Money Transfer® and believe you
may be a victim of fraud, call 1 (800) 448-1492. For more information,
or, to test your knowledge of scams, take our Fraud Quiz: www.westernunion.com/fraudquiz.
About Western Union
The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment
services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western
Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union
provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient
ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to
purchase money orders. As of September 30, 2012, the Western Union, Vigo
and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined
network of approximately 510,000 agent locations in 200 countries and
territories. In 2011, The Western Union Company completed 226 million
consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $81 billion of
principal between consumers, and 425 million business payments. For more
information, visit www.westernunion.com.
Source: The Western Union Company