When someone is in trouble, there are always people out there who are willing to offer their assistance. It is one of the great things about people. It is truly amazing to watch people come together to support and aid those in need.
Recent events have shook the nation, and these tragic events have brought kind and caring people out from around the country. All of these great people just want to help those affected by recent tragedies. Unfortunately, while most people want to help, there are a select few out there looking to take advantage of the situation.
Scams Taking Advantage of Compassion
Scammers exists in all sorts of capacities, and most of them are heinous. However, this kind of scam truly takes the cake. This latest scam sweeping the nation comes in a few different forms, but they all boil down to the scammer asking their intended victim to donate money to victims of one of the recent tragedies.
If a person has recently seen an ad on social media or received an email or text asking to donate money to the recent tragedies, don’t answer right away. There is a chance that might be a scammer trying to take advantage of people’s kindness and compassion.
Some red flags to look out for are when the donation groups start contacting a person. Most donations and GoFundMe’s don’t go looking for donators, so chances are they aren’t paying for ad space on Facebook or sending out messages to random individuals. Most legit businesses recognize that doing so is a surefire way to get marked as a scam. Yet, scammers do this regardless because they know some people out there won’t question anything, and just want to help out people in need.
How to Avoid This Scam
The best way to avoid scams like these is for a person to do their research. This means not giving money to the first link or GoFundMe that they see. Anyone can create these kinds of links and donation setups. In order to avoid getting scammed, a person needs to do their research and make sure that the donations will actually get to the intended person. This goes for all donations, not just ones setup for the recent tragedies.
Some sites, like GoFundMe, guarantee that any money donated will get to the intended person, one way or another. This helps make GoFundMe one of the safer donation sites to use.
How to Identify Scams
There are all kinds of scams that con-artists can pull in order to take a person’s hard earned money. The best way to avoid any scam is to learn to look for specific signs because even though scams may vary, they often follow the same few tricks. Some things to look out for include:
- Check sender email address. Scammers often use very random email address that they have disguised to look like something else. Examining the email address of the sender of the message can quickly reveal if something is a scam or not.
- Don’t be rushed. Rushing through something leads to a person making mistakes, which is why scammers love to rush their victims. Never be rushed into doing something, especially giving money to someone.
- Don’t be urged into secrecy. Scammers are aware of how sketchy their scams can sound, which is why they don’t like their victims telling anyone else about their situation. Doing so could easily reveal the scenario for the scam it is.
- Don’t click links in emails. Never click links in emails unless absolutely certain of who the sender of the message is. If a person needs to visit a website from an email, go to the site directly through their internet browser to guarantee they make it to the right site and not a scam site.
- Don’t give out personal info. Never give out personal information unless they are 100% certain of who they are giving it to.
- Don’t wire transfer money. Wired money cannot be traced or returned to the victim, which is why scammers love to use this method of money transfer.
- Too good to be true. When things seem too good to be true, it is usually because they are.
Don’t Stop Donating
Wanting to help people in need is a very good thing. There are people out there who are in desperate need of help. Any little bit can help them. Often times, just knowing that people are out there, routing for them, can help people find the strength to go on.
Unfortunately there are horrible people out there looking to take advantage of people’s compassion. If a person wants to avoid getting conned, they need to do their research before donating any money. They want to be absolutely sure that the money they are giving away is going to the cause they wish to support and not some con-artist’s pocket.