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Charity Scams: What You Need To Know

After Damar Hamlin, Buffalo Bills safety, experienced cardiac arrest on the field at last Monday’s game, over 200,000 people have donated a total of $7 million for Hamlin's foundation.

However, it is important to be cautious when donating to charities, especially during times of crisis or when there is a lot of media attention on a particular event, such as this. Scammers may try to take advantage of people's generosity by setting up fake charities or claiming to be collecting donations on behalf of a legitimate charity. Some things you can do to protect yourself include:

  1. Research the charity before you donate: Make sure the charity is legitimate and that your donation will be used for the purpose you intend.

  2. Don't give personal or financial information: Be wary of charities that ask for your social security number, credit card number, or account information. A legitimate charity should not need this information to process your donation.

  3. Be wary of pressure to donate: Legitimate charities will not pressure you to donate on the spot. If you feel like you are being pressured to donate, take some time to think about it and do your research before making a decision.

  4. Be cautious of charities that are similar to well-known organizations: Some scammers will create "charities" with names that are similar to well-known organizations in an attempt to trick people into thinking they are donating to a legitimate one. Be sure to check the charity's name and website carefully before you donate.

To confirm that your donation is going to Damar Hamlin's charity, you can try contacting the organization directly to ask for more information about how donations are used. You could also consider looking for information about the charity on the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, or GuideStar, which are organizations that provide information about charities. Additionally, you could try searching online for news articles or other sources of information about the charity to see if it has a good reputation.

If you think you may have been the victim of a charity scam, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Office of the Attorney General in your state.