Charity scam detection tips

On Thursday, Michigan State Police from the Calumet Post reported a telephone scam.

It involves a caller claiming to work for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Police say the caller asks for a charitable donation through MoneyGram, a wire transfer service.

MoneyGram company officials say there are five red flags that signal a likely charity scam.

The first is if the name of the organization is similar to a well-known charity, but not exact.

It might use the word ‘United’ instead of ‘American’ or ‘Organization’ instead of ‘Association’.

The caller might demand an immediate answer, asking you to donate without doing any research into the organization first.

Only accepting cash through a wire transfer is a third red flag; legitimate non–profits accept many different forms of payment.

Anyone soliciting donations should be able to answer questions about the organization.

And a legitimate non-profit won’t guarantee a prize or a grant in return for a donation.

MoneyGram officials say that if they do, it’s a scam.