FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - In observance of Charity Fraud Awareness Week, Attorney General Andy Beshear has issued a charitable giving guide to help Kentuckians avoid falling victim to charity scams.
According to figures from the Attorney General’s office, Americans donate approximately 2% of their disposable income to charity each year. In 2017, Americans gave $410 billion to charities.
“Charity scams occur throughout the year, but tend to peak throughout the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons when donors feel more inspired to help others in need and get the added bonus of qualifying for a tax deduction before the end of the calendar year,” Beshear said. “By following my Charitable Giving Guide, Kentuckians can make sure their donations go to serve legitimate charities that will use their donations wisely.”
The charitable giving guide provides these tips to help protect Kentuckians from scams, especially during the busy last quarter of the year.
--Plan your giving in advance
--Identify a charity that aligns with your values
--Decide the appropriate donation level
--Watch out for imposters.
Only donations made to qualified charities are tax deductible. Donors who are not familiar with a charitable organization should verify their 501(c)(3) status and what percentage of their income goes to the charity’s purpose. There are several online watchdog websites where donors can verify this information and look over charity reviews, leadership and annual report information.
The Attorney General’s office also has information on charitable organizations registered in Kentucky. Go to: https://ag.ky.gov/consumer-protection/charity.
Beshear also reminds Kentuckians never to wire money or use gift cards or cash to make a donation. And don’t provide detailed personal information such as your Social Security number or bank account information, which is typically asked for by bogus websites looking to steal your identity.
To report a fraudulent charitable solicitation or a scam, contact the Attorney General’s Office at 888-432-9257 or file a complaint online at: https://ag.ky.gov/consumer-protection/Pages/default.aspx.
To view the charitable giving guide go to: https://ag.ky.gov/Documents/CharitableGivingGuide.pdf.