As the holiday season approaches, people’s wallets often open up along with their hearts. And this is a good thing. But it is also a time when scammers try to take advantage of our more generous natures. The latest charity scam is one that uses the IRS as a cover.
An email appears, asking you to support victims of the California wildfires. You click on the link, and an almost legitimate looking IRS front site comes up. You are then encouraged to enter personal information and make a “donation.” This can give the scammers your credit card number.
Some things to remember: The IRS does not ask for charitable donations via email. Additionally, the IRS doesn’t ask for bank information. And MarketWatch offers this advice, which is useful in the case of all email solicitations:
“People should exercise caution when they receive unsolicited email or
email from senders they don’t know,” said Richard Spires, deputy
commissioner for operations support at the IRS. “They should avoid
opening any attachments or clicking on any links until they can verify
the email’s legitimacy.”
I personally eschew any email solicitations for money, in any form. I don’t even donate over the phone. My charitable contributions are all made through the mail, and to charities that I know and trust. And they are the same charities regularly.