BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — It’s the season of giving and celebrating but with all the scams out there, how do you make sure that your money is actually going to the organization it’s supposed to?
If you want to donate money or supplies to help someone in need and want to make sure that you aren’t being cheated stay vigilant and make sure that the place, you’re donating to is legitimate. One way is checking that their website if they have one, is real and secure.
You can do that by checking the URL and spellings on the website. This website of the Rondald Mcdonald House has https on its website, the FBI said if a website you’re giving money doesn’t have this, it’s likely a scam.
“We’re in December, the season of giving. Bad actors may be trying to take advantage of our generosity,” said California Attorney General, Rob Bonta.
So, if you are planning to donate to a non-profit or charity this holiday season, experts say to do your research.
“You want to make sure that if you are donating your money, you want to make sure that it’s a legitimate organization,” said Wendy Porter from Wounded Heroes Fund.
Sometimes, imposters could be posing like they are with a charity and asking for donations, but it’s really not them.
“That in the past, people saying that they were from representing our organization out in front of a grocery store and taking donations when really they had nothing to do with us,” said Porter.
One way to make sure that you’re giving your money or items to the right place is by just donating in person.
“Go to the organization yourself and drop off your donation, get a receipt because then you know it’s going to who it’s supposed to go for,” said Scarlett Sabin, director of Bakersfield Ronald McDonald house
You can go to the organization’s website directly and make a secure donation there. These scams hurt donors, organizations, and the people they could benefit.
“So that impacts them, not only them because they worked had for their money. Also, the people that it could have potentially helped and if you’re helping people, then you’re also helping our community,” said Porter.
The California Attorney General’s Office said you if you are in doubt about whether a charity of non-profit exists, you can use the tool on their website to research the organization and make sure it’s a place you want to donate to.