Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is urging Floridians be weary of fraudsters during Giving Tuesday.
The national holiday is a time when Americans provide financial support to a variety to charities. In 2020, roughly $2.47 billion was donated across the United States, according to Giving Tuesday.
The holiday, however, often attracts the attention of swindlers too.
“The holiday season is a time for Floridians to give back and Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity to support charitable organizations in need,” Patronis said. “The holidays bring out the best in people, but they can also bring out the worst in some. Consumers must remember to always stay vigilant and be on the lookout for potential fraud and scams.”
In a press release, Patronis provided Floridians with several to safely navigate the holiday.
He encouraged individual to ask questions and research charities. Be weary, he said, of fake charities. Some fraudsters will set up website to mimic more popular charity organizations.
“Beware of unsolicited offers from charities through email and social media and be suspicious of any charity asking for cash only payment,” Patronis said.
He also urged Floridian to use only safe forms of payment. Credit cards, he said, often provide more consumer fraud protections.
Payment alternatives such as gift cards or Venmo, meanwhile, should be avoid.
“Always research and verify the charity you’re giving to is reputable and never feel pressured into donating,” Patronis said.
Floridians can verify the trustworthiness of charities by visiting the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. The Check-A-Charity feature allows users to review evaluations and more.
Consumers, Patronis said, can never ask too many questions: How is the money distributed? Who will it go to? How much supports direct efforts?
“By staying alert this holiday season you can ensure your donation is going to a good cause and not lining the pockets of a scam artist,” Patronis added.