Donations and charities
Donations are a vital source of funding for worthy causes and charities. As a donor, it's important to be well-informed so you can feel confident about where your money is going.
Unfortunately, some scammers may be pretending to raise funds on behalf of a charity, but are actually stealing your money. Learn how to protect yourself from potential donation scams.
On this page
- Be an informed donor
- Recognizing potential donation and charity scams
- Reporting donation and charity scams
Be an informed donor
- Before making any charitable donation, gather as much information as possible on the organization.
- Visit their website for key information such as annual reports, contact information, hours of operation, list of board members, etc.
- Find out how much of your donation will go to charitable activity and overhead costs.
- Check the List of charities on the Canada Revenue Agency website to find out if a Canadian charity is registered. Only registered charities may issue official donation receipts.
- Charities are regulated at the provincial and territorial level. For more information, contact your provincial or territorial consumer affairs office.
Recognizing potential donation and charity scams
Be wary of:
- High-pressure solicitors who want you to contribute immediately
- Remember that you are entitled to take as much time as you need to make your decision and to say "no" if you wish.
- Someone who contacts you to thank you for a pledge you do not remember making
- Scammers want to lure you into believing that your previous donation made a difference, when, in fact, you never gave money to this fraudulent organization.
- Branding that is similar to those of well-known, reputable charities
- Scammers will use names, wording, logos and graphics to trick you into believing you are giving to an established charity.
Never give out personal information (such as your credit card number or banking information) to a person or organization you do not know.
Reporting donation and charity scams
If you have been a victim of a charitable donations fraud, contact the Canadian Anti-fraud Call Centre.
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