Since Typhoon Yolanda swept through the Philippines on Nov. 8, charities have been surfacing asking for donations to assist with typhoon relief. While these donations may seem trustworthy, many of the charities are scams. Bill Brunson, a spokesman for the International Revenue Service, said the IRS has advice for people who want to donate to a reputable charity.
“It’s very common for scam artists to impersonate charities to get money or information from well intending individuals,” said Brunson. “The Internal Revenue Service has recently issued a consumer alert wanting folks to be weary if they are approached on this particular issue. People can be contacted by telephone, through social media, maybe an email or even in person.”
Brunson also said to avoid identity theft, don’t give out personal information like bank passwords or social security numbers. He said using checks and credit cards are much safer than sending cash, especially if it is sent via mail.
“To help disaster victims, make sure that you donate to a recognized charity, a qualified charity." Brunson said "An individual can go to IRS.gov and go to the ‘Select Check’ area to check on the organization they are thinking about gifting to to validate whether or not it is recognized as a charitable organization.”
To be considered a qualified charity, the organization must file with the IRS as being tax exempt.
Morgan Pratt is a sophomore at Utah State University seeking a degree in Journalism and Communications.