It is a sad fact that there are people who prey on the misfortunes of others by setting up fundraising scams. Understanding how crowdfunding works includes knowing how donors can decide that a fundraiser is authentic.
YouCaring encourages you to be 100 percent confident about the legitimacy of a cause before donating. If you have questions or concerns about a YouCaring fundraiser, please contact us.
How can you know if the cause or charity you are donating to is a legitimate individual or organization? Read on for advice about identifying and avoiding fundraising scams.
Tips for Avoiding Crowdfunding Scams
Here are some standard safeguards you can use when deciding if you wish to support a fundraiser:
- Use only well-known sites with a history of legitimate fundraisers.
- Check out the site on known crowdfunding review sites such as CrowdsUnite, which in 2014 named YouCaring as the Best Crowdfunding Site.
- Avoid giving money if solicited by phone or mass emails or letter-writing campaigns for which you cannot verify the organizer’s identity.
- Check out a charity or cause via the Better Business Bureau give.org site for reports of fundraising scams.
- Be cautious in evaluating causes that generate a lot of publicity, because they often attract scams. Recently there have been breast cancer fundraising scams and fake sites about Ebola.
Personal fundraising often occurs within a relatively small community of people, many of whom know each other. However, many fundraisers to assist disaster relief efforts and personal tragedies transcend communities, especially in the age of social media.
Know How Crowdfunding Works and How to Report Suspected Fraud
Since widespread attention can attract fraudsters, you should evaluate requests carefully. In situations where you are far removed from the scene but want to help those in need, use the Internet to check for local news stories of authentic organizations or persons to whom you can safely give.
One of the unique features about YouCaring is our attitude on fees. We don’t charge any. There is no fee to set up a fundraiser and no fee to withdraw the donations you receive. The only cost to you is the third party credit card processing fee (2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction). YouCaring receives nothing from this credit card fee.
We take fraud, scams and security concerns very seriously. We encourage you report any appeal that you suspect is a scam to us. We will promptly investigate the issue by contacting the person organizing the fundraiser and ask for more information. Most often we find that the intentions are good and the cause just and appropriate. In any case in which we are not entirely satisfied, we remove the fundraiser and close the account.
To learn more about what crowdfunding is see our page how does fundraising work.