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Scammers and your Notre Dame donations

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Following last week’s devastating fire that destroyed much of the famous and historically important Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, fundraising efforts have begun. Many generous people may decide to donate money toward rebuilding efforts – and scammers know that. They’re ready to take donations, too, so here are some things to consider before you give to an organization or a crowdfunding project:

  1. Research the organization first. Search online for the name of the organization plus the word “complaint” or “scam.” Read what others say the about the organization.These organizations can also help your research.
  2. It’s important to ask questions. If you get a call from someone asking for money to help rebuild the Cathedral, ask them how exactly your money will be used. Do some research before donating to any organization you are not familiar with.
  3.  Crowdfunding sites may not monitor how donations are spent. Research any charity before you give. Online fundraisers should tell you who gets your donation and how your money gets to the charity. They should also tell you if they keep any part of your donation as a fee. These details should be clear and easy to find without hunting through fine print. If the details are not clear, consider taking your donation money elsewhere.
  4. Donations to foreign organizations generally are not tax deductible. If tax deductions are important to you, make sure the group is established in the U.S. Check the IRS’s Tax Exempt Organization Search to see if your donation would be tax deductible. Remember that donations to individuals, like in crowdfunding sites, are not tax deductible.

For more tips on how to donate wisely and avoid scams go to Check out the article Before Giving to a Charity for specific tips on donating through social media and how to handle calls from telemarketers.

Tagged with: charity, imposter, scam
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


Thanks for your timely notifications and thorough information. It is valuable to consumers

I always benefit from your postings. Thank you very much. Keep them coming!

Thanks for the reminder. How about our relatives in another country? Is it a good idea to contact the French consulate to see if they have information on where to donate?

I was called in Canada by a scammer claiming there was an ARRA grant for me for 12K. He had a very weird accent-but not robotic.
He left a number to call-right away-360-209-3828 to claim this US Grant even though I'm a Canadian.
I have been searching for somewhere to report this, so I hope this is helpful to curtail this illegal scam.

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