Orlando Related Scams Prevalent IRS Warns

People wanting to help Orlando victims targeted by fake charities

The IRS issued a press releaseBe  warning of an increase in scammers targeting people wanting to help Orlando victims.

Such scammers position themselves as fake charities hoping to obtain cash or private information from consumers hoping to help in the wake of tragedy. You should be aware of these scammers soliciting you through calls, email and social media without previous contact.

The IRS recommends the following steps to donate:

  • Be sure to donate to recognized charities.
  • Be aware of charities that have similar sounding names as recognized organizations. Be sure to Google the names of charities, check the URL for suspicious wording and when in doubt, check the IRS’ tool to verify charitable organizations.
  • Never give out personal financial  information. Scammers may try to obtain social security numbers and/or bank username and passwords for identity theft.
  • Never contribute cash. Always donate that allows a paper trail such as a credit card or check.
  • Consult IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, available on IRS.gov. This free booklet describes the tax rules that apply to making tax-deductible donations. Among other things, it also provides complete details on what records to keep.
Bogus websites may solicit funds for victims of this tragedy. These sites frequently mimic the sites of, or use names similar to, legitimate charities, or claim to be affiliated with legitimate charities in order to persuade people to send money or provide personal financial information that can be used to steal identities or financial resources.

Additionally, scammers often send emails that steer recipients to bogus websites that appear to be affiliated with legitimate charitable causes.

Taxpayers suspecting fraud by email should visit IRS.gov and search for the keywords “Report Phishing.”

More information about tax scams and schemes may be found at IRS.gov using the keywords “scams and schemes.”