In today’s world, we are constantly being warned to beware of scams, and when you plan to donate a car, this fact holds true even in this industry. Many individuals find car donation the easiest way to get rid of their old vehicle and contribute towards society. However, numerous organizations may scam you and conquer your car without paying you a single penny. Moreover, these entities may use the vehicle for illegal or harmful practices. Hence, you must be as knowledgeable as possible and donate your car to a reputed charity to avoid scams.
This post will brief you about identifying a car donation scam, how to avoid one, and what to do if you fall into the trap. Have a read to donate your car without encountering hassles and support the community.
Identifying a Car Donation Scam
Often, the first indication someone’s trying to scam you is that the individual approaches you. It is not a surefire sign because many legitimate charities may research websites and local papers for small ads to identify low-value car sales and may contact sellers. But when a charity approaches you, and it’s not the other way around, you must act attentive.
Moreover, a suspicious vehicle donation charity accepts donations on behalf of other individuals or groups and provides only a small fraction of the proceeds. Stay away from a vague car donation program that does not clarify its support program and community. Such entities may not provide clear information about the percentage of donations they will provide to help people.
Finally, you must understand and be aware of how scammers work.
Scammers can take advantage of car donations in the following ways:
· They act as front people for car auctions to earn commissions, fees, profits, and turnovers.
· They work as fake agencies and handle the proceeds.
· They act as intermediaries, deduct high expenses, and confirm only a small percentage of the vehicle’s value to legitimate charities.
Ways to Protect Yourself from Car Donation Scams
1. Do Your Research
When you research online, the first answers may not be in your best interest. It may result in the most expensive terms in the Google Search. Many search results pages may appear with fake locations on fraudulent charities and maps. The easy route may not always be the best option. You must select reliable car donation programs.
2. Partner with Legitimate Charities
A study in the USA suggested that the number of public charities in the US increased by more than fifty percent. Presently, there are more than 9,65,000 charities in the US, and it is challenging for local government and federal agencies to verify the authenticity of these entities.
Visiting the IRS site is an excellent way to avoid getting caught up in the scam when donating a vehicle. The website gives you access to the online version of IRS publication 78. The list contains the charities with 501 © (3) status registered with the IRS.
You may check the state attorney’s office for checking the authenticity of a charitable institute. Such offices maintain a list of genuine charities.
3. Work with the Charity
Middlemen are a warning sign you must look for, but not the only indication. As mentioned, charities work with non-profit organizations when gathering donations. It is an excellent idea to avoid such scenarios. Work with the Charity you intend to make a donation to avoid scams.
For car donations, it is an ideal way to provide the vehicle to the Charity. Before making donations, visit a local agency and transfer the ownership of the vehicle to Charity. On delivery of the car, you may confirm the direct transfer of the vehicle and its title to Charity.
4. Ask the Charity What they Require
Many organizations avoid answering this question of what they want. Make sure to check the percentage of the proceeds returned to the Charity.
Some profit agencies consider car donations to benefit their charitable deeds and keep up to 90% of the sales proceeds. It implies the donation funds the middleman rather than the charitable organization.
5. Be Careful About Payment Method
It can be a scam if a charity asks for a donation by gift card, in cash, or by wiring money. Most car donation scams are done this way. It is safe to pay through a cheque or a credit card.
A good practice is to maintain a record of all donations and review the statements closely to ensure you are only charging a nominal amount you agreed to pay. Also, avoid signing any document to make a recurring donation.
Before clicking the donation link, know who is receiving the donation.
Donate Your Car to a Reputed and Trustworthy Organization in Your Region
If you wish to donate your car and avoid scams, hire the car donation services of a reputed company. Select a company that maintains full transparency at every step of the process. Also, ensure the agency accepts all kinds of vehicles and supports a reliable community program. Hope your car donation experience is a positive one!