How to Give Money Wisely to Charity Without Becoming a Victim
Donate to recognized charities you have given to before
In the wake of the devastation caused by the wildfires in California, people are opening their hearts and wallets to help. The federal government is advising that the best way to provide immediate assistance is to donate money directly to established relief organizations with the experience and means to deliver aid.
If you're thinking about the best ways to provide help to those affected by the wildfires, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, has the following tips to help you give wisely:
Donate to recognized charities you have given to before. Watch out for charities that have sprung up overnight. They may be well-meaning, but lack the infrastructure to provide assistance. And be wary of charities with names that sound like familiar, or internationally known organizations. Some phony charities use names that sound or look like those of respected, legitimate organizations.
Give directly to the charity, not the solicitors for the charity. That's because solicitors take a portion of the proceeds to cover their costs, which leaves less for victim assistance.
Do not give out personal or financial information — including your Social Security number or credit card and bank account numbers — to anyone who solicits a contribution from you. Scam artists use this information to commit fraud against you. Check out any charities before you donate. Contact the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance at www.give.org.
Don't give or send cash. For security and tax record purposes, contribute by check or credit card. Write the official name of the charity on your check. You can contribute safely online through charities.
Ask for identification if you're approached in person. Many states require paid fund-raisers to identify themselves as such and to name the charity for which they're soliciting.
Can you Use Money That Is Mistakenly Deposited Into Your Account?
Have you ever noticed that your bank account somehow had 'extra' money in it even though you knew for a fact it wasn't yours? If so, you are not alone. It happens more often than you would think. All it takes is for a bank teller to type in one wrong number at the time a deposit is being made.
Is the 10 and 2 Driving Position Now Dangerous in Newer Cars? If Your Car Has Airbags, You May Want To Change This Habit.
Advances in airbag technology have made 10 and two quite dangerous, according to the American Driver and Traffic Safety Association. The old position puts the driver's fingers, hands and arms in the way of the airbag, which deploys at speeds of nearly 250 mph.
It's Possible To Remove Minor Car Scratches With Whitening Toothpaste
Have you ever considered using toothpaste on your car to take out a few of those minor scratches? If the scratch hasn't yet penetrated the clearcoat, there is a good chance that you can fix the problem with a little bit of elbow grease and whitening toothpaste.
The Better Business Bureau Can't Really Do What You Think It Can Do
Tell all of your friends and family that you have some type of consumer complaint. We bet that at least half of them will tell you to contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for some kind of resolution. But can the BBB really help consumers? It really isn't what you think it is.