Recognize

Making a charitable donation to help those in need is a generous decision. However, if you have been affected by an online scammer impersonating a real or fake charitable organization, they may have stolen your money and your personal information.

If you think you or someone you know has experienced a charity imposter scam, we recommend that you act immediately, by following our guidelines below, and then proceed to our ReportRecover, and Reinforce sections for further assistance.

warning signs of charity imposter scams

  • As a rule, any organization requesting that you send funds to a foreign bank is a scam.
  • Valid charity organizations will not include an attachment in their email communications.
  • Be suspicious of anyone contacting you online claiming to be a victim.
  • If someone is trying to rush you into making a donation – it’s likely a scam.
  • Scammers often make lots of vague and sentimental claims but give no specifics.

Visit the CSN blog to learn more about charity scam red flags.

Some Immediate Action Steps to Take

  • Stop all contact with the individual(s) who contacted you.
  • Contact your bank or financial institution to close or change any compromised accounts.
  • Go to annualcreditreport.com to see a copy of your free annual credit report.
  • Save all information or messages about the advertisement and/or the individual(s) who contacted you about the charitable donation. You may need to provide this information when you file a report.

Report

Report the Incident to the Site Where you First Saw the Promotion or Ad

Contact the Money Service Company You May Have Used and Report the Fraud

Recover

These resources have been gathered, selected and vetted to help simplify the process of recovering after a cybercrime incident has taken place. You may need to contact organizations outside FightCybercrime.org. Results will vary depending on your circumstances.

Contact Credit Reporting Agencies to Monitor Your Accounts

Reinforce

Once you have notified the appropriate organizations and you are on the road to recovery, it is time to reinforce your cybersecurity, using these resources and tools.

Implement Preventive Measures

Community Resources

Helpful Videos