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How to protect yourself from scammers who pretend to be philanthropists?

Real foundations do not collect money on the personal cards of their employees or their children's relatives or their online wallets.

Nearly all charity scammers collect funds on personal cards. The accounts of legal entities are controlled by the state, they are required to report, and they require legal procedures and training. And it's easy to withdraw cash from a private person's card, that's why the fraudsters work in such a way. Pay attention to this!

The charity is easy to contact.

The foundation’s website should have up-to-date contacts - you can just dial the number and see if you get an answer. You can also write to email, but note that if the organization’s mail is hosted on free hosting sites like mail.ru, yandex.ru etc. this should alert you.

The foundation's website has documents confirming registration, as well as financial and substantive reports.

By law, non-profit organizations are required to report annually on their activities to the Ministry of Justice. The absence of documents on the site and in the registry of registration of legal entities indicates only one thing - you are faced with scammers.

A decent foundation can also be checked by the presence of official documents, which should be published in public access.

These are the documents confirming the registration of the non-profit organization: the certificate of registration of the NPO, the certificate of tax registration, the certificate of registration in the Unified State Register of Legal Entities and the charter.

To sum up, a real foundation or NPO:

  • never ask to transfer the money on an individual’s cards - only scammers do that!
  • has a set of statutory documents available to all;
  • has a website where you can check the reports all request them;
  • has a feedback form with real emails and phone numbers.

Cryptocurrencies? If a fund or NPO has only cryptocurrency accounts, can I be calm?

You must remember that a foundation or NPO must have an inherent list of fiduciary things, which we wrote about above. If a foundation or NPO does not have statutory documents, this is the first thing you should be careful about transferring money to them. And the presence of only crypto-accounts in countries where cryptocurrency is not legalized can only mean one thing - this is a fraudster.

Public organization of environmental initiatives "ecoparsec" NGO, 2022