Industry Insights
Orlando Massacre May Trigger Charity Scams

Saul Brenner, CPA, J.D., LL.M.
08.03.2016 | eVisor
The IRS is alerting taxpayers of the potential for charity scams emerging from the recent mass murder in Orlando. Scammers are looking to take advantage of the good intentions of individuals seeking to make donations to assist victims. Taxpayers are warned that they may be approached via telephone, social media, email, or in-person.

The Service has provided these tips to help ensure that your donations go to genuine charitable organizations.

  • Donate only to recognized charities.
  • Be alert to charities with names that seem familiar or sound like nationally known, legitimate organizations. This is a common ploy by scammers skilled at developing whole websites that mimic familiar charities or claim to be affiliated with these charities. has a search feature, Exempt Organizations Select Check, where you can find qualified charities. Your donations to these organizations may be tax-deductible.
  • Do not supply personal financial information – Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, bank account information, or any associated passwords. This can lead to identity theft.
  • Avoid giving cash. For both security and tax record purposes, donate by check or credit card. This gives you documentation of your gift.
  • The IRS offers a free booklet, IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, available on that describes the tax rules for making tax-deductible donations.

If you suspect fraud from an email solicitation, visit and search for the keywords Report Phishing.

Questions: Contact your Berdon advisor or Saul Brenner, Berdon LLP New York accountants