Regional

AARP Scam Alert-Fake Veteran Charities

Every November 11th we observe Veterans Day and this year is especially meaningful as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day.

In a shameful twist, scammers see honoring veterans as a perfect time to pretend to represent charities benefiting our nation’s heroes. Scammers often use sound-alike names (or invent “authentic” organizations) to solicit funds.

Here’s what you should know.

• Fake charities use the same techniques as trusted charities to reach you – in person, by mail, over the phone, online, or by email.

• The name of the fake veteran charity may closely resemble the name of a real charity.

• The fake charity might ask you to wire money, donate by gift card or give cash. These methods of payment should raise a red flag.

• Scammers will put pressure on you to act quickly, before you have a chance to think through your decision or do any research.

When you do donate to a charity, use a check or credit card and keep records.

If you are approached in person, ask for identification and details about the charity, including its full name and address, and how they will use the funds. If the person cannot furnish this information, close your door or walk away.

Before donating to any charity, you can easily verify a charity by checking its name and reputation at give.org or charitynavigator.org.

This Veteran’s Day, we should be honoring our veterans, not lining the pockets of scammers who use their name so disrespectfully.

For information about other scams, sign up for the Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork. You’ll receive free email alerts with tips and resources to help you spot and avoid identity theft and fraud.