Elder Safety Tip of the Month - November
W.Va. AG: Give Wisely to Charity
CHARLESTON - The West Virginia Attorney General's Office urges senior citizens to ask questions and know these tips to avoid fraud when donating to a charity.
Additional tips to keep in mind for wise giving include:
- Confirm any charity is registered to solicit donations in West Virginia, information that can be accessed through the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office.
- Never feel pressure to donate immediately.
- Be suspicious of charities that ask for donations in cash or via wire transfer or gift card..
- Gather as much information as possible about the organization. Search the charity’s name online with words like “complaint” and “scam.”
- Never rely on a group's sympathetic sounding name or its similarity to a well-known, reputable entity.
- Be wary of unsolicited calls that thank you for donations that you do not recall making.
- Scammers may spoof the caller ID to make their fundraising calls look like they’re from a local area code or familiar organization.
- Go directly to a charity or organization’s website instead of clicking on a link to the desired group.
- Any online contribution website should start with https://. The “s” verifies a secure connection, making it less likely for personal information to be stolen.
- Be wary of any charity refusing to detail its mission, use of donations or proof of tax deductibility.
The West Virginia Attorney General's Elder Abuse Litigation and Prevention Unit offers updates to safeguard readers against abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.
Anyone with any questions should contact the Attorney General's Senior Services and Elder Abuse Hotline at (304) 558-1155 or via email at HelpForSeniors@wvago.gov.