Online Donations: 3 Tips On How To Contribute Safely
The internet has opened up an easy and convenient avenue for generous individuals to offer help to others in need. By a click of a mouse, you can research and send donations to numerous online charities from the comfort of your home. However, it is important to watch out for online scams and ensure that your donation goes to the right organization. Here is a look at simple tips you can use to ensure your online donation is secure.
Verify that the organization exists
Before donating to an online charity, do some research on the charitable organization. Ask around to see if friends or relatives have heard of it and check the name of the website with a well-known charity regulator to ensure that they are legit.
You can also try calling the charity itself or send them an email requesting details on how your money will be used. A reputable charity should typically provide contact information such as a telephone line, a contact address, and E-mail. They should also be able to provide regular information on what they have achieved in the past with donations and how they plan on fulfilling their stated mission on their website or via email updates that aren't necessarily linked to requests for contributions.
Beware of sham websites
Internet scammers often come up with phony websites that mimic a legit charitable organization. To avoid falling into their trap, never click on a link or attachment in an email and insist on typing the website address into your browser yourself. You should also crosscheck the URL of the organization with a well-known charities regulator and confirm that the site is secure by checking the padlock icon on your browser.
If you come across an unsolicited email from an online charity asking for sensitive information such as your credit card or bank account number, do not respond or click on any links they provide. It is better to simply report and delete the email to avoid being the victim of an online scam.
It is important that you print the confirmation screen that appears after you have made your online donation and keep copies of the email confirming that you have donated to the charity. If you receive no confirmation that your charitable gift is received, call the organization for confirmation.