(LibertySociety.com) – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and identity theft protection companies have issued a warning to U.S. taxpayers following recent tragedies around the globe. Scammers often use such tragedies to exploit empathetic individuals by setting up fake charities to steal their money and identities. They use multiple methods to persuade donors, including phone calls, emails, and phony websites. They also try to get more personal information than reputable charities would ask for, such as social security numbers. Aggressive tactics, such as pressuring people to pay their donations immediately are also common.
The IRS said that legitimate charities would never ask the donor to put the funds on a gift card or send wire transfers. Contributions to fake charities are also not tax-deductible. The agency advised utilizing the Tax-Exempt Organization search tool on its website to determine a charity’s legitimacy. IdentityIQ Chief Innovation Officer, Mike Scheumack said that the company has been experiencing an increase in calls to report “phone call scams, email scams, and fake websites.” He said that credit card holders need to be sure they have fraud protection before using that type of payment method when donating. He also noted that charities claiming, “100 percent of its donations go to the victims” is a giant red flag. All legitimate charities have expenses that are paid for by a certain percentage of donations.
Cryptocurrency scams are also on the rise, according to BleepingComputer. Scammers are sharing sketchy wallet addresses and asking for donations on multiple social media sites, including X, formerly Twitter, Telegram, and Instagram. Crypto scammers are sending emails that evade the spam folder and lead to legitimate-looking websites. People who are looking to donate to those affected by the attack in Israel should research charities through multiple avenues before choosing to donate.
Since the day of the deadly attack, over 8,000 people have been killed between Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank. Israel has indicated that its forces will not stop until the Hamas terrorist group is destroyed.
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