Unfortunately, when disaster strikes, criminals often use tragedies to exploit those who want to help. Donation fraud can happen at any time and has become even easier to commit because of current technology.

With the Marshall and Middle Fork fires in Colorado, FirstBank is here to help protect you from scammers who want to take advantage of your generosity.

5 Tips to Avoid Donation Fraud

  1. Do not give money through social media sites. Many times, this way of giving is unregulated and difficult to track. Websites ending in .org are often a sign of a valid charity organization.
  2. Make donations using a check or credit card. If you are donating using a check, make it payable to the charity or organization and not an individual.
  3. Use caution when charities are created in response to a recent disaster. The Federal Trade Commission has resources to help you review a charity’s track record.  
  4. Do thorough research and ask for written information regarding the charity such as the name, mission, administrative cost and how the donation will be used.
  5. Be cautious if you see a copycat name or if the charity claims it’s associated with a larger, reputable organization. Scammers often try to connect themselves with well-known organizations to trick you.

If you feel you’ve been a victim of donation fraud, contact our 24-hour customer service line at 1-800-964-3444.

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