It’s now that time of year where most people are feeling generous and giving. Which also equates to con artist and thieves who are readily available to take advantage of those who do. The Better Business Bureau has a new feature designed to help you identify a scam called Scam Tracker.
Let’s say there is an organization you’re not familiar with that is soliciting you for donations. You can easily look them up using the Scam Tracker to see if they’re legit or not. No more blindly throwing your money at scammers who use your sympathy to line their pockets.
Of course, if you’re at a mall or store you’re probably not going to want to pull out your phone and check to see if they’re legit or not, most likely you’ll be too busy or in a hurry. In this case I would hold off on any sizeable donation and get their information to look up later. If they happen to pan out, then I would possibly give to them at another encounter, if fate would have it.
Scam Tracker doesn’t just give info on charities, but any company that is known to scam people. If someone calls you and says they’re from a debt collector, get their info and run them through the Scam Tracker. It’s possible they’re phishing for your personal information and not really affiliated with any debt collecting agency.
There are always new scams being created on a daily basis. The way Scam Tracker works is if you or someone you know is duped out of money/personal information by someone, you report it to Scam Tracker. The Better Business Bureau will investigate and upon determining that it’s a scam, will add it to the list. This way you are helping others to avoid the same pitfall that you fell into.
With that said, continue being generous and helping those you are capable of. But also stay vilgilant and aware of the many scams out there. After all, if you’re going to give your resources to someone who needs it, wouldn’t you want it to be someone who actually needs it?
Have you ever been scammed by someone? Do you give money to charities you’ve never of before?