While the Cathedral of Notre Dame was still on fire, scammers were already playing on the sympathy of thousands of people. Their goal is always to prey on innocents’ bank accounts. International private investigators say that major disasters move people’s heart strings like nothing else. Watching people suffer or lose something valuable is an important motivation to open wallets and bank accounts.
One of the most valued buildings in the world was consumed by the fire in France, a country is suffering the consequences of a devastating earthquake in the Philippines, hundreds of people have lost their loved ones in a series of terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka. These are all recent events that the world is witnessing and many people offer to help, as they have done in the past whenever needed. Although the greatest part of humankind is just looking for ways to give support, it is important to make sure we are in fact helping the right people. Keep in mind that tragedy and scam go hand-in-hand.
What you need to know before donating
Fake fundraising, charity and donation sites can be set up in a matter of minutes thanks to all the tools that the internet provides. For example, crowdfunding platforms offer all the necessary tools to start collecting money fast. By the time the administrators of such sites find out a particular funding is fake – if they do – it is too late. Professional looking websites quickly convince potential victims.
Protect your money and make your donation worthwhile
The first step is to research the organization that will manage your donation. It is not only important to make sure it is a reputable organization, but also that the website and the people you are in contact with in fact belong to the organization. Many fake fundraising sites will use names similar to the most globally renowned aid organizations, like the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, United Nations, etc. Despite the similarity, those are only fraudulent sites made to deceive innocent people.
Crowdfunding sites do not conduct international background check investigations to verify the organizations are legit. This is why the responsibility of verifying and getting proper due diligence is on you. Research online about the organization, official website, and contact information. Ask as many questions as you can about their origin and operation. Online fundraisers should tell you who gets your donation and how your money gets to the charity. They should also tell you if they keep any part of your donation as a fee. These details should be clear and easy to find without hunting through fine print. If the details are not clear, consider taking your donation money elsewhere.
Once you have enough information you can request the assistance of a professional private investigation firm to verify the facts. The simplest way to keep away from getting scammed is to take your donation slowly. Gather information and contact a local investigator before you send money or make any commitment. Wymoo International can offer background checks and private investigations in over 100 countries if you need to investigate deeper than what the internet can provide. We know that many of those who first aid people in need are corporations that donate big money. Make it worth!
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