Possible Scams And Current Events: IRS Warns Consumers of Possible Scams Relating to Orlando Mass Shooting

The IRS recently issued a consumer alert about fake charity scams that may cultivate from the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., and encouraged taxpayers to avoid unknown entities and instead seek out recognized charitable organizations. The IRS provides easy to use online tools for taxpayers to check the status of charitable organizations when making a charitable contribution. There are simple steps that taxpayers are recommended to take when making charitable donations like those made to provide relief to victims of the Orlando tragedy.

In tragic circumstances, it is not uncommon for a countless number of people to make generous donations of both money and time to ease the loss suffered by people who are complete strangers. Sadly, it is also not uncommon for the dishonest to prey upon and take advantage of this generosity by posing as some charitable organization to obtain money or useful sensitive private information from the well-intentioned. Such fraudulent devices and schemes usually involve contact by e-mail, telephone, or social media These criminals may even knock on your front door and ask for money in some situations.

The IRS advises taxpayer-donors to follow these tips:

  • Donate only to recognized charities.
  • Watch out for entities with “sound-alike” names that are similar to familiar or nationally known organizations. The IRS website at IRS.gov has a search feature, Exempt Organizations Select Check, through which people may find qualified charities; Contact a knowledgeable tax porfessional to determine if donations to these charities are tax-deductible.
  • Do not offer or provide any personal financial information. The objective of this scam is to commit identity theft. Any information like a password, Social Security number, credit card or bank account number, may facilitate this crime.
  • Do not “do business” with cash. Do not send it to any entity. Do not give it to any person as a donation. To serve the dual purpose of preventing identity theft and preserving evidence of a future tax deduction, contribute by check, credit card or some other way that provides reliable documentation of the gift.

Scam artists setup fake websites to solicit funds for the victims of tragic events like those in Orlando. These sites often use similar names that sound like established, well-known charitable organizations. Probably the most common scam is using emails to direct recipients to sham sites that seem to bear resemblance or affiliation to some legitimate charitable cause. Be careful!

If you live in the New York or the Tri-State area and have any questions about any possible tax deductions, call THE TAX EXPERTS at the Thorgood Law Firm www.thorgoodlaw.com. For a FREE consultation, call 212-490-0704.Possible Scams And Current Events: IRS Warns Consumers of Possible Scams Relating to Orlando Mass Shooting

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