Groups and individuals pretending to be charitable organizations are especially active around tax season, as they try to attract donations from Americans looking for a tax deduction. Unfortunately, its one of the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for the 2017 filing season, according to the IRS.
The IRS offers these basic tips to taxpayers making charitable donations:
1. Be wary of charities with names that are similar to familiar or nationally known organizations. Some phony charities use names or websites that sound or look like those of respected, legitimate organizations.
2. Don’t give out personal financial information, such as Social Security numbers or passwords, to anyone who solicits a contribution. Scam artists may use this information to steal identities and money from victims.
3. Don’t give or send cash. For security and tax record purposes, contribute by check or credit card or another way that provides documentation of the gift.