FTC is cracking down on charities that claim to donate to veterans

Kaylah Jackson
July 20, 2018 - 1:07 pm

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The Federal Trade Commission announced Thursday, they are taking action against fake charities, such as Healing Heroes Network, Veterans Fighting Breast Cancer, and American Disabled Veterans Foundation, that have made false claims about helping veterans. They are calling the initiative "Operation Donate with Honor." 

Every state, Puerto Rico and American Samoa will be targeting charities that deceitfully claim their donations assist veterans and their families.

Acting VA Secretary Peter O’ Rourke says “FTC’s Operation Donate with Honor campaign will help educate citizens on how to identify organizations that misrepresent themselves as legitimate veterans’ charities, and those who, by contrast, truly help our nation’s heroes. I commend the FTC and its state partners for taking strong action on this important issue.”

Organizations posing as charities will often trick the public and even those in the military community by asking for donations and then in some cases, these donors' private information have been used to steal their identities

Operation Donate with Honor in partnership with the National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO) will educate the public on how to select reputable charitable organizations and recognize red flags.

Some of things they reccommend doing before you donate your hard earned money:

  • If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it. That’s how scammers ask you to pay
  • It’s a good practice to keep a record of all donations and review your statements closely to make sure you’re only charged the amount you agreed to donate – and that you’re not signed up to make a recurring donation.
  • Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. That’s something scammers do.
  • Scammers can change caller ID to make a call look like it’s from a local area code.
  • Some scammers use names that sound a lot like the names of real charities. This is one reason it pays to do some research before giving
  • Guaranteeing sweepstakes winnings in exchange for a donation is not only a scam, it’s illegal."

Organizations including Healing Heroes Network, Veterans Fighting Breast Cancer, and American Disabled Veterans Foundation have all been sued for lying to donors about their charities’ intentions.

“While the enforcement actions announced today represent some truly bad actors in the charitable sector, the vast majority of charitable organizations do good and important work,” said Nebraska Attorney General, Doug Peterson.

You can find more information about how to donate wisely at FTC.gov/Charity.

 

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