With Thanksgiving tomorrow, Iowans can expect a deluge of holiday season donation seekers to start knocking on their doors, stuffing the mailbox and ringing the phone. While some Iowans may feel more charitable at this time of year, they need to be skeptical of solicitors, according to Bob Brammer, spokesman for the Iowa Attorney General’s office. He says telemarketers can be very slippery.Some callers may claim to help law enforcement, children or sick people but almost none of the money goes to that. Brammer says to ask questions and ask for more information as a reputable charity will be happy to provide it. He says Iowans need to be particularly aware of what his office calls “badge scams.” Scam artists know they can take advantage of people’s generosity toward police and fire departments. Just last week, the state sued a telemarketing firm that was allegedly tricking people over the phone and telling them they were firefighters. While some so-called charities are outright scams that pocket all the funds people contribute, Brammer says others use professional fundraisers that eat up 80-to-90-percent of the donations in fundraising expenses, so almost nothing is left for true charity. Brammer says to check out the charity before you make a decision. Be suspicious if they refuse to send solid information. Visit the national Better Business Bureau “wise giving” site – www.give.org. Other tips: don’t give your credit card or checking account numbers over the phone to someone you don’t know. Request written information. Give directly to a known charity of your choice.
You are here: / / Expect more charity pitches this time of year