What to look out for as charity scams are on the increase in Arizona

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The FBI in Phoenix is warning that charity scams are on the rise and are expected to increase even further as the holidays approach. Charity fraud can come in many forms, as we learned from the FBI’s Jennifer Schlinz.

“The FBI in Phoenix wants to warn the public about charity scams and what this means is the perpetrator takes advantage of that giving spirit and people’s kindness in giving money and they create fake charities and they try to line their own pockets,” Schlinz said.

She continued that, “we see this a lot typically after natural disasters and tragedies. But we also see an increase in this charity fraud during the holiday season.”

This kind of fraud can happen through emails with “spoofed” names on the email addresses, this can also happen through cold calls on the telephone, or text messages. But Schlinz said that online scams are the biggest ones that they see.

This kind of fraud takes away money from legitimate charities. Schlinz suggests you, “do your own research, the Federal Trade Commission actually has on their website a way that you can check a charities track record so you really want to go with charities that you know and trust.”

Another thing Schlinz said to look for if deciding a charity is real or not, is if they use “.com” or “.org” because most legitimate charities will utilize the extension of “.org”

She continued that if someone is asking that you provide a “wire transfer” or “gift card” or “virtual currency” those are red flags that the organization is fraud.

Legitimate charities will usually ask for checks or credit card.

To report any incidents of charity fraud, you can go to “IC3.gov” or call the FBI Phoenix Division at “623-466-1999”

Jennifer Schlinz, FBI Special Agent

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