Good for helping veterans, but be wary of charity scams

Our 11 News Call For Action team writes a weekly column for our news partner, The Gazette. Previous columns can be found here.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) — I know many of us want to support our service members and veterans after Veterans Day, but I want to make sure you don’t fall for scams.

We want to stop the veteran charity scam. It’s important to do your homework before donating your hard-earned money. You may have seen this story on Fraud Friday during the 11 News at Noon show.

“It’s really important to do your research in situations like this,” said Mark Fetterhoff of AARP ElderWatch Colorado. “There are so many scammers out there posing as organizations that we want to give our hard-earned money to, such as veterans organizations. The reality in so many situations is that there are scammers out there just trying to be advantageous and take advantage of these genuinely kind people.

“It’s really important to do your research and see if they’re registered to solicit donations.”

Fetterhoff tells me that veterans are often victims of scams.

“There are other scams out there that target veterans and I would say one of them is people asking for flat rates or saying they can charge flat rates for different veterans as well,” Fetterhoff said.

“Offers that are too good to be true that say, ‘Hey, we’re giving you all the veteran benefits now,’ when in reality they’re trying to get either your personal or financial information.

“Other scams can involve people calling you and asking you to update your military record. Again, these are people phishing for your personal and financial information.

“I find it horrible that they are targeting certain demographics like this, but they are doing it to a lot of different demographics out there and military families, so it’s no shock to see scammers targeting different demographics,” he added.

If you’re donating money to a charity, make sure you’re paying using a secure method.

“Paying with gift cards, paying with peer-to-peer payment apps, paying with crypto (currency) are really common topics that we hear scammers ask about,” Fetterhoff said.

“So again, using verified credit cards that you have and visiting websites to give that money is a much safer method and there is a lot more consumer protection when paying with a credit card.”

You can report fraud and fraud to the Colorado Attorney General’s nationwide consumer hotline at 800-222-4444. On behalf of KKTV, I would like to thank our service members, veterans and their families.

The Take a Turkey to Work Day will also take place on November 18th. KKTV 11 News is partnering with the Care and Share Food Bank of Southern Colorado to help local families in need this Thanksgiving. Volunteers collect frozen turkey donations at several King Soopers locations in Colorado Springs and Pueblo.

You can also pick up frozen turkeys from your workplace and drop them off at collection points. Or you can donate online at CareAndShare.org.

Visit 11Cares.com for more information and a list of collection points.

Click here to read the original column on gazette.com.

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