While there are plenty of honest, important causes out there, scammers know that calling for help is a good way to encourage people to make a quick, emotional decision which may prevent them from doing their research before handing credit cards numbers over. If you're suspicious of an organization, you can always check the Department of Justice's database of charitable organizations
. (If necessary, you can always politely explain that you'll be making the same donation to a more established organization.)
CHARITY FUNDRAISING CALLS
Did you know that charity fundraisers only need to provide a fraction of the money they collect to the actual charity they are soliciting for? You can learn more about charitable giving from the Oregon Attorney General at this page
. The office also prepares a list of the “20 Worst charities” based on the percentage of money raised that’s actually used for charitable purposes.
A type of Nigerian scam (see above) more commonly known generally as "The Spanish Prisoner"
con. You are asked to forward money to help a friend or powerful person out of a difficult situation (in the 1800s, this was often a Spanish prison), and are promised a large reward. In actuality, there is no prisoner. Sometimes the scammers will convince you that you have been engaging in illegal activity, in the hopes that you will not go to the police afterwards.
FRIENDS OR FAMILY WHO HAVE REPORTEDLY BEEN ROBBED ON VACATION
These scams can be garbled pleas for help over the phone, but most often come via email so the recipient can’t tell that the message is really coming from a potential thief. If you respond, you’ll end up being the victim.