While traveling in Mumbai locals you will always see couple of youngsters with a donation box and the documents of Cancer patients (alleged) who ask for donation. Recently 19 such youngsters were arrested over fake money collection in the name of Cancer patients.In Mumbai RPF (Railway Protection Force) nabbed 19 youngsters for fake money collection for Cancer patients, 7 out of 19 were actually hired by some unregistered NGO’s on daily wages of Rs. 200/-, while one girl said that she was assured that her tuition fees for higher studies will be paid by the NGO.
This all happened after some cancer patients raised their voice, some patients were approached by such NGO’s and assured of some help but that never happened.
The donation in the name of Tata Memorial Hospital turns out to be fake as the officials denied of any such fund raising and asked people not to fall prey.
So next time if you feel like helping someone out for a noble cause just be careful of such fraudsters, here is what you can do.
As posted by Access Life for general awareness.
Before Giving to a Charity…
If you’re considering a request for a donation to a charity, do some research before you give. By finding out as much as you can about the charity, you can avoid fraudsters who try to take advantage of your generosity. Here are tips to help make sure your charitable contributions are put to good use.
Signs of a Charity Scam:
These days, charities and fundraisers (groups that solicit funds on behalf of organizations) use the phone, face-to-face contact, email, the internet (including social networking sites), and mobile devices to solicit and obtain donations. Naturally, scammers use these same methods to take advantage of your goodwill. Regardless of how they reach you, avoid any charity or fundraiser that:
a) Refuses to provide detailed information about its identity, mission, costs, and how the donation will be used.
b) Won’t provide proof that a contribution is tax deductible.
c) Uses a name that closely resembles that of a better-known, reputable organization.
d) Thanks you for a pledge you don’t remember making.
e) Uses high-pressure tactics like trying to get you to donate immediately, without giving you time to think about it and do your research.
f) Asks for donations in cash or asks you to wire money.
g) Offers to send a courier or overnight delivery service to collect the donation immediately.
Take the following precautions to make sure your donation benefits the people and organizations you want to help.
~Ask for detailed information about the charity, including name, address, and telephone number.
~Get the exact name of the organization and do some research. Searching the name of the organization online — especially with the word “complaint(s)” or “scam”— is one way to learn about its reputation.
~Call the charity. Find out if the organization is aware of the solicitation and has authorized the use of its name. The organization’s development staff should be able to help you.
~Find out if the charity or fundraiser is registered.
~Ask if the caller is a paid fundraiser. If so, ask:
1. The name of the charity they represent
2. The percentage of your donation that will go to the charity
3. How much will go to the actual cause to which you’re donating
4. How much will go to the fundraiser
5. Keep a record of your donations.
6. Make an annual donation plan. That way, you can decide which causes to support and which reputable charities should receive your donations.
~Know the difference between “tax exempt” and “tax deductible.” Tax exempt means the organization doesn’t have to pay taxes. Tax deductible means you can deduct your contribution on your income tax return.
~Do not provide your credit or check card number, bank account number or any personal information until you’ve thoroughly researched the charity.
~Be wary of charities that spring up too suddenly in response to current events and natural disasters. Even if they are legitimate, they probably don’t have the infrastructure to get the donations to the affected area or people.
Report Charity Scams:
If you think you’ve been the victim of a charity scam, file a complaint. Your complaints can help detect patterns of wrong-doing and lead to investigations and prosecutions.