The world is full of good Samaritans, those people who see other people suffering, and want to help or who get involved in a good cause. Donating time, talent and money to charities and other good causes is a noble endeavor. However, as with most things in life, there are always those on the other side of the equation that are looking to take advantage of any situation, even of those who want to help the less fortunate.
Recently, the IRS warned Americans about one such catastrophic event that could lead to scammers trying to take advantage of would-be good Samaritans. South Carolina is still reeling from the horrible and widespread damage from the massive flooding the state sustained from the record-setting rain that recently blasted the area. In the midst of all the terrible destruction, many people were already reaching out to donate money for relief efforts. The bad news, scammers are out in full-force as well.
That led the IRS to issue a warning against these scammers who are standing by to take advantage of the good-hearted people who donate. The IRS says that these kinds of events often bring out many people who are looking to profit from others’ misfortune. To that end, the IRS recommends checking the IRS website to make sure that your donation is actually going to a qualified charitable organization and not into a scam artist’s pocket.
Also, remember to avoid giving out personal information, only use legitimate websites and be sure to get receipts for tax deduction purposes. Do not send or give cash and be careful of any unsolicited emails or phone calls. As always, trust your gut and use your best judgment in order to avoid being scammed.