The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is cracking down on robocallers and their scam-con games.
Senior citizens are the most vulnerable to these robocall scams.
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.
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