POSITIVELY 50+

Positively 50+: Protecting yourself against ‘charity scams’

Dec 21, 2023, 3:52 PM | Updated: 3:56 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — American consumers lost nearly $9 billion to fraud last year. And while Gen Z actually falls victim to scammers at a higher rate than older generations, it’s important to protect yourself at any age this time of year.

Scammers really can strike anyone at any time.

“These can look very convincing. I had a text on my phone that looked like it was from my bank and said you know, contact this number,” said Nels Holmgren, Director of the Utah Division of Aging and Adult Services.

Thankfully, he didn’t fall for it.

“One of the techniques they use the most is just pressure. You have to donate today. If you ask, ‘Can I call you back?’ they say no, this is a one-time opportunity. We all know there’s no reputable charity that won’t say, ‘Sure… Call us back,'” Holmgren said.

Nels said the key is being prepared. And Utah’s seniors aren’t just sitting around waiting for fraudsters to make fools out of them. They’re smart.

“Our seniors are very savvy. They’re on the internet a lot. It’s very easy to search,” he said.

Americans donated nearly $500 billion to charity last year alone, and more than 60% did so during the holidays. We know that Utah consistently gives more than any other state, so it’s essential to do your research.

Sites like Charity Watch and Charity Navigator, or even the Better Business Bureau and the IRS, have tools to verify whether or not your donation is doing the most good. But you also might find organizations you’ve never even heard of.

“There are charities people may have no idea even exist that are right up their alley with things they feel strongly about, so I would say, do some research, use some common sense, and don’t get pressured,” Nels said.

Check out Charity Navigator, for example. You can search for the non-profit that speaks to you with several drop-down menus.

According to the website, Utah has only the top “4 Star” charities in our state.

When selecting the smallest organizations, those that bring in under $500,000 annually, about 90 charities popped up under that search criteria.

Hope Clinic, Inc. is one of those charities, and with a few clicks, people will know they are based in Midvale, have been around for 30 years, and provide medication services to those without means for basic care.

And it’s that easy. That way, you know who is getting that hard-earned donation dollar. Nels said that the Area Agencies on Aging across Utah are the best resources for seniors.

You can find out more information through the Division of Aging and Adult Services website.

KSL 5 TV Live

Positively 50+

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

Dan Spindle

AARP Utah offering classes to clear up Social Security questions

AARP Utah is offering in-person and online classes to help Utahns clear up their Social Security questions.

1 month ago

Robert Wetzel, who volunteers with "Meals on Wheels" delivering a meal to Lola Anderson at her home...

Dan Spindle

Positively 50+: ‘Meals on Wheels’ volunteer delivers more than just meals

One volunteer who is always on the go delivers more than just meals to those who need to stay home.

2 months ago

The Aging & Adult Services website that provides connections to Utah's seniors....

Dan Spindle

Salt Lake County Virtual Senior Centers provides a community for Utah’s seniors

Most of us would love to forget everything that happened during the pandemic, but one thing has stayed. And it’s good for Utah’s seniors.

3 months ago

AARP tax preparation...

Dan Spindle

AARP volunteers offer free tax help for seniors

Summer, winter, spring, or fall - No matter which season is your favorite, we can all agree that tax season is the worst.

4 months ago

We’re all looking for ways to stretch our finances through discounts and deals but for those who ...

Dan Spindle

Positively 50+: Tax Circuit Breaker and Renter Relief

We’re all looking for ways to stretch our finances through discounts and deals but for those who are a little older and on a fixed income, the need is that much greater. There is a lesser-known state program to help seniors out to the tune of hundreds of dollars.

5 months ago

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

Dan Spindle

Helpers with mobile pantry at Midvale Elementary know need has no season

Around the holidays so many of us start thinking about giving our time and talents to those who need it the most. But for volunteers with the Utah Food Bank’s Mobile Pantry, it’s a need that knows no season.

7 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Positively 50+: Protecting yourself against ‘charity scams’