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Nevadans Urged to Watch Out for Fraudulent Charities

PHOTO: The holiday season means Nevadans are seeing multiple pitches to donate to charities. It's a good idea to do some research before hitting the "donate" button. Photo courtesy of the Utah State Law Library.
PHOTO: The holiday season means Nevadans are seeing multiple pitches to donate to charities. It's a good idea to do some research before hitting the "donate" button. Photo courtesy of the Utah State Law Library.
December 5, 2014

LAS VEGAS - Nevadans are being encouraged to be cautious when donating to nonprofits this holiday season.

People should be doing some homework before making a donation and be wary of anyone asking for money over the phone or Internet or using high-pressure tactics, said Beverly Salhanick, an attorney in Las Vegas who is a member of the Nevada Justice Association.

"Send me your information or give me your website," she said. "Let me go check you out and I'll get back to you. If they really need the money, a day or two won't hurt."

Salhanick said the opportunity of getting swindled this week is higher than normal because scammers may be taking advantage of the popularity of the national #GivingTuesday campaign.

Another big factor to consider, she said, is how much of each dollar actually goes to help those in need. Salhanick said Give.org and CharityNavigator.org are websites where nonprofits can be researched.

"How much of that money actually goes to the purpose of the organization? For example," she said, "does it go to help children, if you're giving to a children's-oriented charity? Does it go to help animals? Does it go to veterans?"

Salhanick said a good rule of thumb is to support organizations where at least 75 percent of all donations directly benefit those in need.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NV