The IRS offers the following tips to help you avoid fake charities:

  1. Don’t cave into pressure! Scammers often use the technique of urgent need to push people into making an immediate payment.
  2. Be wary about how a donation is requested. Never work with charities that ask for donations by giving numbers from a gift card or by wiring money.
  3. Don’t give more information than needed. Do not reveal personal information such as Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and PINs.

“Watch out for fake charities, which create problems on multiple fronts,” warned  IRS Acting Commissioner Doug O’Donnell. “Not only can well-intentioned donors lose out on their money and a potential charitable donation credit, but their personal financial information could also be stolen.”