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Mass shootings that make headlines similar to what we saw as a result of the Orlando tragedy not only generate a nation-wide flood of donations for the victims and their families, but also a spike in scamming activities including attempts to gain money or private taxpayer information. The IRS advises you to follow these tips if you are thinking of donating:

  • Donate to recognized charities. Phony charities will use names similar to nationally recognized organizations and set their websites up to look familiar to other legitimate charities to confuse donors. The IRS Exempt Organizations Select Check feature, helps find qualified charities.

  • If solicitors reach out to you directly for a contribution, do not give out personal information such as social security numbers, bank account information, credit card numbers, etc.

  • Donate using check or credit card, so that you have documentation of the contribution, do not use cash.

  • Beware of suspicious emails that send you to a site that appear to be affiliated with actual charitable causes.

  • Other things to keep in mind: whether or not the organization is registered with a state government agency, how the organization plans to use the funds, is the donation tax deductible, etc.

    The IRS' website has a page dedicated to reporting phishing and online scams. Forward any suspicious phishing emails to