Tis the season for giving. With so much going on in the world, those who can want to pay it forward—especially during the holiday season. Sadly, cyber criminals are too often holding the digital donation box. In 2022, the CAFC reported a rise in charity scams using the situation in Ukraine to defraud donors. And the FTC issues regular warnings and advice for donating safely in times of crisis. While charity scammers continuously come up with new tricks, there are some common red flags:
- If a charity resorts to a high-pressure sales pitch and tries to create an immediate sense of urgency, it’s possible you’re dealing with a cyber thief.
- Cryptocurrency, gift cards and wire transfers are not legitimate payment options for a reputable charity.
- Offering sweepstakes winnings in exchange for a donation is illegal.
- If you haven’t heard of the organization, disengage and do some research. Look for media reports and use online resources to verify the charitable organization’s credibility.
- Be extra cautious with crowdfunding. Make sure you can verify the person behind the campaign.
- Stay on top of charity fraud by signing up for email alerts or visiting government websites for updates.
Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself on the wrong end of a scam this winter holiday season. And we do mean best efforts. Scammers work ridiculously hard to part you from your money and even the most cyber-savvy can be duped. At BOXX Insurance, our purpose is to make the world a digitally safer place. Our Cyberboxx Home™ product covers fraud, identify theft and cyberbullying associated with digital scams and risks. The BOXX Hackbusters™ incidence response team is standing by 24/7 to recover and restore your personal, financial and private information.