A good friend of mine is always collaborating with charity organizations; He fixes old cars and donates them to his church, for the people who cannot afford them; He does clothes and food collections for the local food banks; He also participates in toys’ runs in the Holidays season. My friend is a really giver. The other day, he was at home, resting after work, and he answered a phone call that changed his opinion about people forever. It was a man with a very educated and kind voice, who introduced himself as the leader of a local charity organization. After a long conversation about the hard living of the poor in the season of the spent, they were chatting as old friends. The organization was collecting money for a Christmas dinner for the homeless. My friend donated 200 dollars, although he was struggling with his own budget to celebrate the Holidays. He was feeling good about what he just did. However, one hour later, his feelings changed. A call from the Police communicated him that the money he just donated, was not in its way to serve any good cause, because it was in the pocket of some bad gangsters. He felt betrayed and stupid, although everybody tried to convince him that it was not his fault, and that he did what he thought was the right thing to do to help people, but that was a poor consolation for a man who always trusted others without doubt.
As every Holydays’ season, Police warn us about the frauds that are often perpetrated during this time, and they try to give us some useful advices against them.
Do not make donations by phone to an unknown solicitor, and even avoid doing it to a known one, if the claim is made by the phone, it is always better to go to the organization’s address so you can see for yourself that is real. Do not give anyone by phone your credit card number or bank account information. You do not see to whom you are giving them.
Do not accept easily the world of door-to-door solicitors who claim to belong to charity organizations, ask for all kind of identifications. It is always better to go directly to the source.
Watch out for fake gift cards, which increase their number during Holidays. Check if they have printed the legal number on them. Avoid buying gift cards in places that are not the right stores.
Do no open holidays greeting e-cards from unknown senders. They can be from scammers that will access to the personal and financial information in your computer files.These scammers can brake into your e-mail service as well, stealing information from your address book to use your contacts for their own activities, which they are normally very illegal ones.
Be aware of anything that does not sound right, and always think twice before you share any portion of your personal information. You do not want to change your opinion about the World after you someone evil scam you.