NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — Giving Tuesday just wrapped up, kicking off the unofficial start of the holiday charitable giving season, but be careful who you are giving to.
'Tis the season for gift wrapping and gift giving. The Tennessee Attorney General's Office is asking jolly givers to do your homework before you donate to any charity no matter the time of year.
The Federal Trade Commission has the Volunteer state ranking 5th in the Nation for fraud reports. In 2018, more than 18-million dollars were lost in the state because of scams
If you have been contacted by or fallen victim to a charity scam, report it to the Division of Charitable Solicitations; the Federal Trade Commission; and your local police department.
But most importantly, be a smart giver.
"This time of year, when you are in the giving spirit; look we’ve been through Black Friday, Cyber Monday, now it’s time to give to charities. Make sure these are legitimate charities, make sure you’re hard earn money is going to reputable groups," said Samantha Fisher, spokesperson.
The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s (TDCI) Division of Consumer Affairs, says Many holiday scams involve phishing. Phishing is the act of tricking consumers into revealing information or performing actions they wouldn’t normally do online using phony email or social media posts. Cyberscammers tailor their emails and social messages with holiday themes in the hopes of tricking recipients into revealing personal information.
The Division of Consumer Affairs encourages consumers to be familiar with these common holiday scams:
- If you have been contacted by or fallen victim to a charity scam, report it to the Division of Charitable Solicitations, Fantasy Sports and Gaming at the Secretary of State’s Office; the Federal Trade Commission ; your local police department or law enforcement agency; and your bank or credit card company if applicable.
If you are aware of any false, misleading or deceptive fundraising activity, please notify the Division of Charitable Solicitations, Fantasy Sports and Gaming immediately at (615) 741-2555 and ask to speak with an investigator. In addition to speaking with an investigator, please submit a complaint form .
For more scam-fighting resources, visit the TDCI Division of Consumer Affairs website . You can also check what scams are being reported in your area, the state, and across the country by accessing the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker .