(FinancialHealth.net) – Every day across the country, companies are taking advantage of people by tricking them into donating money. These scam PACs are pseudo-political action committees that trick donors into thinking their money is going to charitable causes. But these companies donate very little, if any, of the money to where they promise it.
For example, telemarketers will call people and tell victims they’re raising money for the American Coalition for Injured Veterans. The group purports to advocate for veterans who are disabled and homeless. Records show the group actually spends 90% of donors’ money on the organization’s expenses, $0 on veterans and $103,700 on House candidates.
During the 2016 campaign for president, many of these super PACs popped up and duped Donald Trump supporters out of their hard-earned money:
These scammers are able to operate with little oversight buoyed by favorable court decisions like the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, which reduced “freedom of speech” limits on non-profit companies.
Scammers tell people they’re charities or fundraisers, but they’re secretly operating as super PACs. In doing so, they’re taking advantage of a gray area between state charity laws and PAC laws.
They can tell donors they’re raising money for whomever they want, then spend millions on executive salaries and other company “expenses.” To make it all worse, they have almost no oversight until people begin complaining.
With the 2020 election right around the corner, there will almost certainly be an uptick in the number of calls you’ll be receiving from fundraisers. To protect yourself from becoming a victim of this scam, do the following:
- Never give your banking or credit card information over the phone.
- Request information packets about the group that’s raising money.
- Research the organization before you donate your money.
- Donate directly through your candidate’s official campaign website.
Remember, knowledge is power. It’s never urgent that you donate immediately, and if someone makes you think that, hang up. Don’t ever give your hard-earned money to an organization without first checking them out.
~Here’s to Your Financial Health!
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