How can I donate wisely and avoid fraud?

On this page you will find warning signs of charity-related fraud and tips about donating wisely.

Warning signs of fraud:

  • pressure to give right away

  • calls that thank you for a pledge you don't remember making

  • organizations that use names similar to popular charities

  • canvassers who do not want to give you details about their organization

  • requests to send cash or a money order, instead of a cheque or credit card (cash is not traceable and cannot be cancelled)

  • offers to send a courier to collect your money

  • overly-friendly canvassers who ask personal questions

  • using free email addresses, which let people hide their identity

  • strange call display numbers such as 123-456-7890 or 777-777-7778, which might mean the caller is trying to hide their number

Report suspected fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501. 

Tips for donating wisely:

  • use the Charities Listings or Other qualified donees listings to confirm that the organization is eligible to issue official donation receipts

  • learn about the organization’s activities and how it is managed

  • beware of donation schemes that promise a tax receipt for more than you donated

  • write cheques to the charity, not to an individual

  • make sure that your online payments are secure

  • refuse to donate if there is pressure to give right away, or if there are any other signs of fraud

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