The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is cracking down on robocallers and their scam-con games.
One terrible scam recently shut down by the FTC, was against Travis Deloy Peterson of Utah. He collected more than $500,00 for phony charities he set up, such as Veterans for America and Saving Our Soldiers.
The robocalls, falsely claimed that the donations of automobiles, watercraft, real estate and time-shares would be tax-deductible gifts to support veterans charities. In reality, Peterson sold donated items for his own benefit, the FTC reports.
Federal Trade Commission: How To Protect Yourself
According to the FTC, robocalls from political candidates, legitimate charities and informational calls (such as updates on school closures) are allowed. But if a recorded message is a sales pitch and you haven’t given written permission to get calls from the company behind it, the call is illegal. And it is most likely that it’s also a scam.
If you are interested in donating your car to charity, you should follow this advice from the FTC:
- Evaluate the charity using an organization like Charity Navigator, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance or GuideStar.
- Many states require that charities that solicit contributions register and file documents with them. To learn more, visit the National Association of State Charity Officials at nasconet.org.
- Find a legitimate charity, using the steps listed above, that directly accepts car donations. Skip the for-profit groups that act as intermediaries, thus ensuring that 100 percent of the profits from the vehicle’s sale go to the charity.
- When transferring a vehicle to a charity, don’t leave the assignment of ownership space on the donation papers blank. Sign the vehicle over to the nonprofit.
- If you plan to take a tax deduction, review the IRS publication A Donor’s Guide to Car Donations.
Stay vigilant and report robocalls to the Federal Trade Commission and your local telephone company.