MoneyGram Warns of Potential Charity Scams Following Boston Marathon Bombings Business Wire DALLAS -- April 17, 2013 MoneyGram (NYSE: MGI), a leading global money transfer company, is warning consumers not to let scammers profit from tragedy by luring them to donate to fraudulent non-profit organizations following the Boston Marathon bombings. According to MoneyGram, this type of fraud typically spikes immediately following a national tragedy, with consumers losing an average of $824 when they fall victim to a fake charity scam. “During tragic times like the event in Boston this week, we know there are perpetrators who seize these situations and move quickly to create fraudulent ‘charitable’ organizations to prey on well-intentioned people who want to help. This angers us,” said Kim Garner, senior vice president of global security and investigations for MoneyGram. “There are reputable charities doing good work after the bombing in Boston. We want to do our part by informing the public-at-large that charity-related scams can occur and provide them with tips and resources to confirm the legitimacy of an organization before making a donation.” Garner added, “If a charity asks for a donation by money transfer, it’s likely a scam. As a rule, never send a wire transfer to someone you don’t know, because once the money is sent, it’s gone for good.” A charity scam occurs when a scammer solicits a “donation” to benefit a particular organization. The organization may sound similar to a legitimate charity, and may even have a fake website that looks like an organization’s official site. “But once the donation is sent by money transfer, the scam is complete. The money does not go to the intended cause, and the donor can’t get their money back,” says Garner. Garner says there are five red flags that signal a likely charity scam: *Name Game: The name of the organization is similar to a well-known charity, but is slightly off – such as the word “United” instead of “American” or “Organization” instead of “Association.” Consumers can search the IRS website for legitimate, tax-exempt charities. *High Pressure: The caller needs an immediate answer and asks you to donate without taking the time to do any research into the organization. The FTC offers these tips to review before giving to a charity. *Cash Only: The organization will only accept cash through a wire transfer – legitimate non-profit organizations accept multiple forms of payment. *Lack of Information: Anyone soliciting donations should be able to answer questions about the organization and where the money is going. If they can’t answer specific questions, hang up or delete the email. *Online Push: As internet and social media use continues to grow, charity scams thrive online. Multiple fraudulent organizations can prey on a donor’s goodwill quickly by pushing for a donation using online platforms. Garner advises consumers to follow the three Rs – recognize, react and report – to ensure the affected families in Boston receive each intended donation. *Recognize: Consumers should look for red flags when an organization asks them to send a donation through a wire service, because scammers often request these methods knowing that once the money is sent, it cannot be retrieved. *React: When a charity scam is identified, consumers should immediately put an end to any transaction or conversation – hang up the phone, delete the email, or end the back-and-forth messaging. *Report: Report the suspected charity scam to the local police, and file reports with the Federal Trade Commission, National Consumers League and Internet Crime Complaint Center (if the suspected fraud was online). Consumers should call 1-800-MONEYGRAM (800-666-3947) if they believe MoneyGram was used to wire money as a result of a Boston Marathon charity scam. This information can be helpful in stopping others from being scammed by the same scheme. Since mid-2010, MoneyGram has prevented millions of dollars from being lost in suspected fraudulent activity, put those dollars back in the pockets of consumers, and kept the funds out of the hands of scammers. As part of the company’s ongoing efforts to protect consumers from fraud, MoneyGram recently launched an enhanced version of its fraud prevention website – moneygrampreventfraud.com – or Spanish website at moneygramprevenciondefraude.com - where consumers can arm themselves with information to prevent monetary losses to charity scams. About MoneyGram International MoneyGram International, a leading money transfer company, enables consumers who are not fully served by traditional financial institutions to meet their financial needs. MoneyGram offers bill payment services in the United States and Canada and money transfer services worldwide through a global network of more than 310,000 agent locations – including retailers, international post offices and financial institutions – in 197 countries and territories. To learn more about money transfer or bill payment at an agent location or online, please visit moneygram.com or connect with us on Facebook. Contact: MoneyGram International Sophia Stoller / Mike Gutierrez, 214-303-9923 firstname.lastname@example.org
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MoneyGram Warns of Potential Charity Scams Following Boston Marathon Bombings
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