Donating to charity for a good cause is an admirable gesture. However, not all who claim to be involved with these endeavors are sincere. The caring staff at Provident State Bank want you to be cognizant  that there are charity scammers out there who are looking to take advantage of any naiveté. Despite their professed philanthropy, it is likely just a mirage. You may be wondering how to tell if a charity call or email is legitimate or a scam? Charity scammers may pressure you to donate immediately. If you are a victim of fraud, you may be asked to wire money right away, with little to no information concerning the details of the charitable foundation. They may even thank you for a pledge that you never recall making. This new wave of scammers may even provide you with what seems to be valid information, then pressure you to pay promptly or ask for your personal information which could lead to identity theft. In this installment of our Protecting Against Fraud Series, we examine how to protect yourself from charity fraud scams.

Your local bank has assembled some helpful tips to avoid being scammed by this type of criminal:

- Rule out anyone who you do not know asking you to wire money or send cash. Ignore the calls, delete the emails, and throw the letter in the trash.

- Keep your money to yourself. You have worked hard for your money, so do not let someone scam your money away from you.

- Protect your personal information. If you give your financial information to someone, like a credit card number, they can steal your identity and run up massive bills that could take years to resolve.

- Take your time. Request the information by mail. Call the charitable foundation where the person is claiming to fund and investigate their integrity before providing any personal information. Research what percentage goes to charity and whether your donation is tax-deductible.

- Tell a friend. Communicate with friends, family, and neighbors about possible scam alerts. Also, let the local authorities know because law enforcement can catch the person or people responsible.

Our team at PSB is here to help you learn more safeguards against fraudulent behavior. Come visit your local branch today and learn more about all possible scam scenarios!