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8.8B Reasons

How many times have you met a group raising money for a charity outside a grocery or drug store?

Do you give?

Do you Google before giving?

If your answer is yes, yes and no, please reconsider.

Last week we encountered two women soliciting money for the Parker Project outside a CVS. They said hello on the way in and caught us on the way out. While they showed us a laminated sheet of information about how effectively they raise money for families of children stricken with cancer, I furiously typed in "parker project review" in Chrome.

Google screamed back at me.

We quickly walked away. More searching unearthed a littany of complaints about the organization and its "sales reps".

As we indulge in random acts of kindness this season, stop for a second before forking over money or sharing financial information of any kind with anybody unless you are completely convinced of the ethics and motivation of the person at the other end of the internet, phone and table from you.

As of 2022, there are at least 8.8 billion reasons to assume malicious intent.

That's the staggering amount consumers in the US lost to scams in one year, including fraud related to charity, investment and impersonation. The fraud statistic by age simply breaks my heart.

I suspect 2023 will deliver many more reasons to be cautious. So, let's be vigilant and say no before we happily indulge in generosity.

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