Protect Yourself Against Fraud

Ask Before You Give

* What activities does the charity perform, and where?

* What is the charity's registration number?

* Can I get a tax receipt?

* How much of my donation goes directly to helping others? How much goes to administration and fundraising costs?

* Can you send me more information before I donate?

Protect Yourself

* Know the charity. Get information about the charity before you donate.

* Don't give in to an emotional appeal or pressure. Take time to think about your decision. A real charity will take your donation anytime.

* Make sure your donation is going to an organization, not a person. Any cheque should be written out in the organization's name, not a person's name, even for a pledge.

* Never give or send cash. Use cheques payable to the charity's full name. Read and keep all your receipts.

* Don't give out your personal information. Your credit card numbers, Social Insurance Number and bank account information should not be needed to make a donation.

* Beware of copycats. Some names sound like well-known charities to fool you. Make sure you know which organization you're donating to.

* Check the facts.

Refuse to donate if there is inappropriate pressure to give immediately or if there are signs of fraud, such as being offered a receipt for more than you actually donate. You can report suspected fraud to PhoneBusters, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre, by calling 1-888-495-8501.

For more information from Canada Revenue Agency, visit www.cra.gc.ca/donors or call toll-free

 SENIOR LIVING VANCOUVER ISLAND - May 2009

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