Be Aware: Online Donation Scams on the Rise!

Online Donation Scams on the Rise!

In Waco, Texas and beyond, reports are filing in about people using nonprofit online donation tools as a way to launder money and steal from unsuspecting credit card holders. The scam typically works like this: The thief uses a credit card or online payment account such as PayPal to make a large donation through a nonprofit’s online donation page. That person then contacts the organization and says the donation was a mistake. For example, a $2,000 donation was meant to be a $200 donation. He/she then asks the organization to refund the difference of $1800 to a different account than the one used to make the donation. The scammer may claim that the original account had to be closed for security or other reasons.

If you come across a request like this at your nonprofit, here are some things you can do:

  • ONLY offer to refund the money to the original credit card (no matter what story/explanation you are given)
  • Once the refund is made, notify the credit card company and the local police about the situation
  • File a complaint with Internet Crime Complaint Center: http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx

To learn more about this scam, check out: http://www.rlweiner.com/creative-credit-card-donation-scam