Giving Wisely This Holiday Season

FTC Urges Consumers to Exercise Caution When Donating to Charities

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Media Advisory

For some, donating to charities is part of the expression of the holiday spirit. With the holiday season approaching, the Federal Trade Commission has issued tips to help consumers protect themselves from potential charity scams, including:

  • Be wary of appeals that tug at your heart strings, especially pleas involving patriotism and current events.

  • Ask for the name of the charity if a telemarketer does not provide it promptly.

  • Avoid cash gifts – they can be lost or stolen.

  • Discuss the donation with a trusted family member or friend before committing the funds.

  • Don't provide any credit card or bank account information until you have reviewed all information from the charity and made the decision to donate.

Additional consumer and business education material is available at

To help consumers donate wisely this season, FTC regional representatives are available for live interviews in the following cities to discuss charity scams: Cleveland, OH; Chicago, IL; New York, NY; Seattle, WA; Atlanta, GA; Dallas, TX; San Francisco, CA; and Los Angeles, CA. FTC representatives also will be available for phone interviews in cities outside of the designated cities.


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