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IRS Warns Taxpayers to Avoid Orlando-Related Donation Scams

June 22, 2016

Tax scammers have proven they have no boundaries—the IRS warns you to stay vigilant against donation scams related to the recent shooting in Orlando, Florida.

In the wake of last weekend’s horrific mass shooting in an Orlando, FL nightclub, the IRS has released a consumer alert about potential phony charities scamming those interested in donating to the victims’ families. The IRS says scammers commonly use tragedies to take advantage of donors, by impersonating charities to acquire personal information and/or money. Be mindful of calls and emails you receive, websites you visit, Facebook pages you “like” and people you encounter in-person.

IRS Cautions:

Don’t be fooled by cruel scammers, be sure to follow these tips:

  • Use the IRS’ “Select Check Feature” to verify that a charity you’d like to donate to is qualified.
  • Beware of charities with names closely related to nationally known organizations—they are likely phony.
  • “Charities” can often claim to be affiliated with legitimate organizations—DO YOUR RESEARCH.
  • Be on guard for emails that lead you to bogus websites of organizations claiming to be associated with well-known charities.
  • If you are solicited for a contribution in person or online- DO NOT give out personal financial information (credit card numbers, bank account numbers, passwords or social security numbers)
  • Contribute by check or credit card to a qualified charity for security and tax record purposes. You’ll want to contribute in a way that will provide documentation of the gift. DON’T SEND CASH!

As we have mentioned time and time again, call the IRS if you suspect you have received a suspicious call, email, etc. or if you have sent money or personal information to a “charity” that you suspect might be phony.

The IRS can be reached at 1-800-829-1040 or you can send an email to phishing@irs.gov.

In the wake of such a senseless act of violence, these scams are heartless, abusive and appalling—but that does not mean you must fall victim/give your money to the wrong place. Make sure your money goes to the right people—There are plenty of charities you can donate to that will assist these victims’ families and friends in the midst of their unbearable grief.

Contact any member of our team for further guidance on donating.

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