Tis the Season to be Charitable

Don’t Fall for Charity Scams

by Ralph R. Manento, Owner – Royal Security Services, Inc.

Despite the poor economy, many small business people and homeowners continue to contribute generously to charitable causes, particularly during this time of the year. Crooks are well aware of this which is why they are attempting to cheat, steal and rob from the business community and homeowner.  Some of the bogus charities claim to provide gifts and services to the troop overseas, children and seniors in hospitals, the homeless and others less fortunate.

In these difficult economic times, Americans want to make every contribution count, said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz at the launch of a special operation to combat false charities.  The good news is that Americans are still being generous and donating to charitable organizations, including those that support our police officers, firefighters, military families, and veterans. The bad news is that some unscrupulous operators have seized on this goodwill to make a quick buck.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General said that trustworthy resources are available through the Department of State and the Attorney General’s office in Harrisburg. 

Below are some Tips from the FTC on how to avoid being taken in a charity scam:

  • Recognize that the words “veterans” or “military families” in an organization’s name don’t necessarily mean that veterans or the families of active-duty personnel will benefit from your donation.
  • Donate to charities with a track record and a history. Charities that spring up overnight may disappear just as quickly.
  • Call the office in our state that regulates charitable organizations to see whether the charity or fundraising organization has to be registered.
  • Do not send or give cash donations.  For security and tax-record purposes, it’s best to pay with a check made payable to the charity.
  • Ask for a receipt showing the amount of your contribution.
  • The business or homeowner who gives money to a bogus charity is not the only victim.  The people for whom your charitable contributions were intended are also victimized.

For more information on keeping your home or business secure, or contact us at 570-992-1500 or look at the Pleasant Valley Sports Reporter.