Secretary of State: ‘Give Smart,’ Avoid Charity Scams this Holiday Season

By The Chronicle

The holiday season is a time for giving, but Washington residents should keep an eye out for scams when looking to donate to charities, according to a news release from Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman. 

“We’ve been encouraging people to ‘Give Smart’ this time of year by making informed choices when donating money to charity,” said Wyman in a press release. 

The Secretary of State oversees the state’s Corporations and Charities Division. According to Wyman and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, fraud rates typically increase at the end of the year. 

“There are so many reasons to help out the less fortunate these days, and — unfortunately — just as many new scammers looking to rip people off,” Wyman wrote. “That’s why we want everyone to do their homework and use our websites before giving.”

Washington residents can research charities through the state’s charity registration database at call 1-800-332-4483 for more information if a charity is not registered. 

Above all, donors shouldn’t give in to high-pressure solicitations.

“Don’t let the fear of being taken advantage of discourage your kindness and generosity,” Ferguson stated in the press release. “There are simple steps you can take to make sure that your donation is going where you intend it to.”