I recently read an excellent yet distrubing Atlanta Journal-Constitution story on how busy scammers are this time of year, especially scammers who use charities as their way into our goodwill.
American’s by nature are very giving people, particularly, in times of crisis. It is important that you are aware of this and be cautious, not only all year, but especially during this time of year.
According to the article, people feel more generous during the holidays. At the same time they are focused on year-end tax deductions, the story noted. This all leads to you getting more emails, calls and regular mail asking you for your money.
The AJC story included an interesting statistic by Charity Navigator - charities on average receive 40 percent of their annual contributions between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
The story said, these “scammers” and I am being polite, feed off of catastrophes like Katrina and Sandy. There are legitimate charities and other organizations out there, but “perpetrators” and yes, I am being polite again, will lie, cheat and steal to get your money, saying they represent some organization set up to help these victims.
The story included tips to protect yourself such as being wary of telephone solicitors and vetting the charities you give to.
Officer Larry Jacobs is the Crime Prevention Officer for the Sandy Springs Police Department. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.