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Donating To Charities

Whether they are providing supplies to help the victims of a disaster or simply want to support a cause they believe in, Canadians donate to charities each year to help those in need. And while most charities are trustworthy and work hard to provide for the less fortunate, there are dishonest groups who prey upon the good intentions of others.

How To Avoid Scams

Despite the urge to help a cause as soon as possible, it is important to do some research before donating to any charity. Consider the following best practices to ensure that your donations go to a legitimate charity:

  • Never wire money to someone who claims to be a charity. Legitimate charities do not ask for wire transfers. Once you wire the money, you'll probably never get it back.
  • Donate through a charity's official website only and never through emails. Scammers have a knack for creating fake email accounts that seem legitimate.
  • Ensure that the charity explains on its website how your money will be used.

Confirm the charity's registration information through the Canada Revenue Agency (1-800-267-2384).

Be wary of organizations that use free emails from Google, Yahoo and similar services, strange phone numbers or names that are similar to popular charities.

Above all, it's important to avoid being forced into donating. Reputable charities will rarely pressure individuals into donating on the spot. If you come across a charity scam, you should report it to your local police department, as well as the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

How To Choose A Charity

Even legitimate charities need to be considered with care. To ensure that your donations are going to a worthy cause, search a list of qualified charities, which can be found on the government of Canada's website. Donors can use this database to see if a Canadian charity is registered, revoked, annulled, penalized or suspended.

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