IRS supports international efforts to fight fraud during Charity Fraud Awareness Week

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IR-2023-225, Nov. 28, 2023

WASHINGTON — On Giving Tuesday and as part of Charity Fraud Awareness Week, the Internal Revenue Service highlighted its continued support of international efforts to fight fraud and charity scams.

The IRS supports this effort as part of its ongoing commitment to fight fraud against charities, businesses and individuals. It's estimated that charitable organizations lose 5% of their revenue each year to fraud, according to the Fraud Advisory Panel, a UK-based organization that leads the effort in organizing Charity Fraud Awareness Week, which runs from Nov. 27-Dec. 1.

Charities, regulators, agencies, law enforcement and other not-for-profit stakeholders around the world work together to raise awareness about fraud and cybercrime that affect charities. During this week of awareness, supporters actively discuss fraud and cybercrime, share best practices and offer helpful resources.

"We thank the Fraud Advisory Panel for the important work that goes into Charity Fraud Awareness Week and for reminding donors to remain vigilant," said IRS Director of Exempt Organizations and Government Entities Robert Malone. "Unfortunately, charity scammers look for opportunities to take advantage of situations, such as natural disasters, when exempt organizations are making an effort to help. Donors and charitable organizations alike should remain vigilant to protect their assets from fraudsters. I urge donors to verify a charity's tax-exempt status at Tax Exempt Organization Search before donating goods, services or money."

Be aware of fake charities

In addition to cybercrime targeting charities, criminals also create fake charities. To learn more about how scammers use fake charities, read the IRS' Dirty Dozen tax scams for 2023. Taxpayers should verify legitimate and qualified charities using the Tax Exempt Organization Search tool. Donors should never feel pressured to give immediately.

More information

The Fraud Advisory Panel has created a special website for Charity Fraud Awareness Week, which features information to help partners, charities and other tax-exempt organizations and nonprofits find:

  • Details about the awareness week.
  • A fraud pledge for organizations.
  • A listing of webinars and other events.
  • Free resources.

Those encouraged to participate in the week's activities include:

  • Trustees, staff and volunteers from charities, nongovernment organizations and nonprofits.
  • Accountants, auditors and those acting as professional advisors to nonprofits.
  • Regulators, law enforcement officials and policymakers working to safeguard nonprofits.
  • Organizations that represent the interests of nonprofits.

Visit the Fraud Advisory Panel website to learn more about Charity Fraud Awareness Week and how to get involved.

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