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Experts Warn Americans To Look Out For Phony Charities
Updated September 23, 2015 8:16 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(UNDATED) - It's that of year when most Americans get into a giving mood, but experts warn that also means there are scam artists out there getting into a taking mood.

The Syrian refugee crisis in Europe has tugged at the hearts of charitable Americans, but scam artists have also been busy.

"They are just people who are using this crisis to take advantage of people's generosity," said Art Taylor, president of BBB Wise Giving Alliance.

A common way they take advantage with all sorts of worthy causes is by setting up phony charities.

"There are hundreds, hundreds, maybe even thousands of organizations that have cancer in their name," Taylor said.

Cancer was the cause when four questionable charitable organizations came under fire and federal scrutiny earlier this year.

"Instead of supporting patients battling with the ravages of cancer, the overwhelming majority of donations benefited the individual defendants," said Jessica Rich, with the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection.

The National Children's Leukemia Foundation, which still has Facebook page, was also found to be a fraud, but not until the operators pocketed nearly $10 million in donations sent to a basement in Brooklyn.

Watchdogs are urging vigilance, especially as consumers head into the most charitable time of the year.

Officials advised that people can check out charities at charitynavigator.org or give.org.



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