EL PASO, TX (KVIA) -- As natural disasters continue to impact communities across the globe, unfortunately we are seeing the rise of charity fraud scams. The FBI El Paso is warning us to take caution and awareness when it comes to making charitable contributions.
Special Agent Jeanette Harper of the FBI offers a critical piece of advice: "Don't let anyone rush you into donating." She stresses the importance of conducting thorough research before contributing to any charitable cause.
Even if a link comes from a friend or family member, the FBI cautions against assuming its legitimacy. Hovering the mouse over hyperlinks in emails to verify their destination is a simple yet effective way to avoid falling victim to these scams.
The Federal Trade Commission provides resources to verify and track the records of the charity.
The choice of payment method can play a big role in protecting oneself from charity fraud. Special Agent Harper recommends using credit cards for donations, as credit card companies often offer safeguards against fraudulent transactions. Methods such as debit cards, cryptocurrencies, or gift cards are favored by scammers - often leading to immediate financial loss.
For those who suspect they have become victims of charity fraud, contact the FBI El Paso at (915) 832-5000. They also suggest filing complaints with both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the FBI through their official websites.