With Veterans Day just around the corner, many of us are thinking about how we can honor military members and their families. Making a charitable donation is a great way to give back, and the holiday is a time when many people are looking for the right organizations to donate their money and time to.

While there are many reputable foundations dedicated to improving the lives of veterans, active military members, and their families, there are also bad actors who seek to take advantage of altruistic people and the people they seek to help.

Charity scammers have been known to target not only people who want to donate around Veterans Day, but also veterans and their families themselves, according to an alert from the FTC. As the holiday season approaches, more and more people want to donate Potential donors are advised to keep in mind that not every so-called charity is the same and it’s worth doing a little extra due diligence before hitting the send payment button.

Below is a list of things to look out for when donating this Veterans Day to avoid falling victim to a scam.

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Signs of scams to look out for

  • Don’t trust caller ID as a form of identity verification; It is relatively easy for fraudsters to manipulate what appears on your screen to make it appear as if the call is coming from a well-known person or organization.
  • Don’t click on links in messages or emails without confirming the origin of the sender.
  • Check a charity’s online presence before the donation. Google the organization’s name and look for an official website and associated contact information. Check if the site is safe and look out for bad reviews or lack of additional information about it. Another easy way to do this is to enter the charity name online along with the words “scam” or “scam.”
  • Beware of sales tactics B. Pressuring you to donate immediately, promising you that you will receive prizes or other compensation for your donation, contacting you repeatedly or out of the blue, or insisting that you have donated before even though you are can’t remember it.
  • Beware of suspicious payment methods B. Requests to send your donation via wire transfer, gift card, cash or cryptocurrency. The safest way to pay is to use a credit card so that your banking instincts can help you if something goes wrong.
  • If you are contacted to request a donation, questions for the charity’s name, website, telephone number, address, email address, as well as details about its mission statement, who and how many people it serves, what percentage of donations go directly to programs, and where to make other disclosures can find their finances.
  • Check whether the charity is registered or have credentials with your state charity agency, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) ​​Wise Giving Alliance, AARP, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, GuideStar, or IRS Tax Exempt Organization search.
  • Double-check the charity name to ensure that it is not only discoverable and known, but also not a suspiciously similar variant of an existing, trustworthy organization.
  • Receive a receipt after donating and check your bank statement to make sure everything is consistent.

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Well-known charities are donating for this Veterans Day

An easy way to make sure your money goes where you want it this Veterans Day is to stick with established and reputable charities. You can even choose to donate your time or skills if you don’t have the money but still want to show appreciation to service members and their families.

Luckily, resources like CharityWatch keep a close eye on the organizations that raise money for various causes and track information such as: B. What percentage of each donation goes directly to the people and programs the charity supports.

Here is a list of some reputable charities and organizations donating time and money for the upcoming Veterans Day:

  • Semper Fi & America’s Fund provides personal case management, connection and lifelong support to all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, with 91% of donations going directly to funding programs.
  • Supporting the family of wounded warriors aims to provide a better quality of life for service members and their families wounded, injured or killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. It also financially supports other veterans organizations with similar missions. The program share is 88%.
  • K9s for warriors rescues and trains protection dogs to be used as service dogs for warriors with service-related post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and/or military sexual trauma. It has a program share of 70%.
  • The Fisher House Foundation builds and furnishes homes and provides assistance and scholarships to military families and children. The program share is 91%.
  • Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) provides 24-hour tragedy assistance to anyone who has suffered the loss of a military family member, regardless of the relationship to the deceased or the circumstances of the death. The program share is 83%.
  • Hope for the warriors provides comprehensive support with a focus on transition, health, wellness, peer engagement, and connections to community resources with a program coverage of 86%.
  • Gary Sinise Foundation creates and supports unique programs to entertain, educate, inspire, empower and build communities with a program share of 87%.
  • The Bob Woodruff Family Foundation works to identify, fund and design innovative programs that help our impacted veterans, service members and their families thrive. The program share is 76%.
  • Folds of Honor Foundation Provides financial assistance for the education of spouses and dependent children of service members who are killed or permanently disabled while serving in the military. The program share is 91%.
  • Houses for our troops builds and donates specially adapted, custom homes for the most seriously injured 9/11 veterans nationwide, helping them rebuild their lives with an 84% program share.
  • National Military Families Association Supports military families of all ranks, including deployed, wounded and fallen soldiers, through stressful times by providing child and family programs, financial assistance, counseling and advocacy with a program coverage of 86%.

Source : www.usatoday.com

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