Charity Scams

Washingtonians are very generous. Many of us give money to help those in need.

Unfortunately, people can be victimized by scammers if they aren’t cautious and do their homework before they give. We want to help people avoid having that happen to them. 

Charity scams increase during the holidays.

According to AARP, seniors 65 and older – a group that makes up 13.6 percent of Washington’s population – are especially targeted by solicitors, and thus should be very careful and research where their donations are going.

Here are some tips to Give Wisely to charities:

- Ask the person soliciting the donation who they work for; do they work for the charity itself, or are they employed by a commercial fundraiser?
- If they work for a commercial fundraiser, there’s a good chance a large portion of any money you give will go to the commercial fundraiser, and not to the charity.
- You can donate directly to a charity instead of through a commercial fundraiser
- Don’t give in to high-pressure solicitations that demand an instant commitment. Just walk away or hang up!
- If you decide to donate, get information about the charity first.
- Check to see if the charity is registered with the Washington Secretary of State at
- Write a check and make it payable directly to the charity.
- Never send cash or give your credit card or bank account number

If you have concerns about a charity or commercial fundraiser, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Resource Center weekdays between 10am and 3pm at 1-800-551-4636. You can also file a complaint online at

You can sign up for the Fraud Watch Network at or by calling 800-646-2283. By joining the Fraud Watch Network, you’ll receive alerts and notifications about new scams as they emerge.

  File a consumer complaint with the Attorney General’s Office at .

For more resources on scams click on a link below -

Signs Your Valentine Is A Scammer
Spotting Weight Loss Scams
Stopping Pension Poachers
Don't Fall For The Grandparent's Scam
Half of U.S. Adults Hacked: Are You Among Them?
Buying A Car? Do Your Homework.
Avoiding The Foreign Lottery
Top 10 Investment Fraud Tips
Outsmarting the Scam Artist
Medicare Open Enrollment Scams