IRS warns of South Carolina flood relief scams

IRS warns of South Carolina flood relief scams
October 22
00:00 2015

By Todd Luck

The Chronicle


The Internal Revenue Service is warning consumers to be weary of scam artists posing as charities that are helping with flood recovery in South Carolina.

“Any time disaster strikes, scammers come out of the woodwork and they try to take advantage of people’s charitable feelings and need to help,” said IRS Spokesperson Luis Garcia.

It’s common after a disaster for scams to emerge with fake charities claiming to do relief work or scam artists attempting to impersonate recognized organizations. The scammers may be trying to get money or personal information they could use to steal a person’s identity. Scams may involve solicitations by telephone, social media, website, email or in-person.

The IRS recommends donating to recognizable, well-known charities and being weary of charities that use names similar to nationally known organizations. Don’t give out personal information to anyone who solicits a contribution that could be used to steal your money or identity such as Social Security, credit card and bank account numbers or passwords. For security and tax purposes, donations should be made by check or credit card, not by cash.

Garcia said that it’s common for taxpayers to make contributions and try to claim it on their taxes, only to then find out the charity wasn’t legitimate. Identity theft is also common as scam artists use a victim’s personal information to get credit cards, loans, new accounts or a tax refund in their name.

Garcia said that legitimate charities that qualify for tax-deductible donations can be found using the Exempt Organizations Select Check on the IRS website.

“The bottom line is you want to make sure they’re legitimate and do your homework before you send any money,” he said.

The IRS also warns to be careful of websites and emails that try to mimic legitimate charities.

Garcia said those who suspect they’ve been approached in a scam should report it to their local authorities. Those who suspect they’ve received fraudulent emails should visit and search for “report phishing” to report it.


The Exempt Organizations Select Check is at

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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