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**CONSUMER ALERT** CFO Patronis Shares Tips on Avoiding ‘Giving Tuesday’ Charity Scams

11/28/2022

For Immediate Release: Monday, November 28, 2022

Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842

 **CONSUMER ALERT**

CFO Patronis Shares Tips on Avoiding ‘Giving Tuesday’ Charity Scams

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis is reminding Floridians to stay alert and beware of scams when dealing with charitable causes on Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday is a national day of giving at the start of the holiday season that occurs the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. In 2021, Americans gave a total of $2.7 billion to charity, which is a 9% increase from 2020.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “With the holidays in full swing, now is the time of year that many Floridians choose to support certain organizations to give back to our communities. Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity to give to those in need, but bad actors are always looking for new ways to steal your hard earned money. Fraudsters will use the holiday as an opportunity to scam well-meaning citizens and every Floridian needs to be on the lookout for charity scams, and keep an eye on all unsolicited offers from charities through email and social media. This holiday season, don’t become a victim of a charity scam, always research and verify before you give.”

 Five Tips to Avoid Charity Scams:

 

  • Ask questions. Most online donation campaigns have a comment section, use this tool to ask questions about how the money will be distributed, who the money will go to, and even how much goes directly to support efforts.

 

  • Watch out for similar charity names. Scammers sometimes create fake charity names that are similar to the actual name of the organization with the hopes of creating confusion among consumers.

 

  • Pause before donating. Don’t feel pressured into giving an immediate donation. Always take your time to research the organization to ensure you are making the right decision.

 

  • Use safe forms of payment. Never donate to charities by gift card, wire transfer or fast cash apps such as CashApp or Venmo. Consider paying by credit card for better security.

 

  • Verify on the BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance (Give.org) Check-A-Charity, which is a standards-based charity evaluator that seeks to verify the trustworthiness of publicly soliciting charities by completing rigorous evaluations based on 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.

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 About CFO Jimmy Patronis

Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).