Submitted by Jon Freeman

In the wake of Hurricane Florence, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is reminding taxpayers that criminals and scammers try to take advantage of the generosity of taxpayers who want to help victims of major disasters.

According to the IRS, fraudulent schemes normally start with unsolicited contact by telephone, social media, e-mail or in-person using a variety of tactics:

1. Some impersonate charities to get money or private information from well intentioned taxpayers.
2. Bogus websites use names similar to legitimate charities to trick people to send money or provide personal financial information.
3. They may even claim to be working for or on behalf of the IRS to help victims file casualty loss claims and get tax refunds.
4. Others operate bogus charities and solicit money or financial information by telephone or email.

To help taxpayers donate to legitimate charities, the IRS website has a search feature, Tax Exempt Organization Search, that helps users find information about a charity or tax-exempt organization’s federal tax status and filings.

To find more information on personal finance money management feel free to visit the GCPL Personal Finance Guide.