Holiday season invites charity scams in Las Vegas

Holiday season invites charity scams in Las Vegas

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There is no data available on the number of fraudulent nonprofit organizations at work, but they’re likely to increase their activity around this time of the year, said Rick Cohen, chief communications officer for the Washington D.C.-based National Council of Nonprofits. 

“There’s a giving spirit around the holiday season,” he said.


Cohen said scams could be making consumers more wary to donate.

Scams make “everybody else that much more hesitant when a legitimate organization reaches out,” he said. “That’s really harmful to the legitimate organizations out there that are making a difference every day.”


Scams come in many forms — from emails and letters to in-person requests — but Cohen said most come by phone. Be wary of companies that cold call out of the blue, especially if it’s a charity or cause unfamiliar to the recipient, he said.

“It’s always OK to say no,” Cohen said. “You should never feel pressured into helping others.”

It’s also important to double-check the name of the organization. Some fraudulent companies use names similar to legitimate operations.

“They’ll use a name like the National Cancer Society instead of the American Cancer Society. … Things that sound official and sort of familiar,” Cohen said. “It makes a person doubt themselves.”

The best way to weed out the frauds is simply by searching the internet. Cohen said the IRS’s “Tax Exempt Organization Search” is the best place to for an initial check; entering the name or identification number of an organization will show whether it’s eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions.

Source Name: 
Las Vegas Review-Journal

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