IRS joins effort to fight charity fraud during international recognition week

IR-2022-180, October 17, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced its continued support by joining international efforts to fight fraud during Charity Fraud Awareness Week, October 17-21.

The IRS partners in this effort as part of its ongoing commitment to fight fraud against charities, businesses and individuals. It's estimated that charitable organizations will lose 5% of their revenue each year to fraud, according to the Fraud Advisory Panel, a UK-based organization leading the effort by organizing this week of awareness. Experts say cybercrime is on the rise, including attacks on charities, their supporters and beneficiaries.

Charities, regulators, agencies, law enforcement and other not-for-profit stakeholders around the world are working together to raise awareness about fraud and cybercrime that affects charities. These efforts resulted in seven days when supporters actively discuss fraud, share best practices and offer helpful resources.

How to verify a charity

"We'd like to thank the Fraud Advisory Panel for reminding donors to remain vigilant," said IRS Director of Exempt Organizations & Government Entities Rob Malone. "Unfortunately, natural disasters, like Hurricane Ian, provide an opportunity for charity scammers to take advantage of genuine efforts to help. I urge donors to verify a charity's tax-exempt status at Tax Exempt Organization Search before donating goods, services or money."

Fake Charities

In addition to cybercrime targeting charities, criminals who create fake charities are also a problem. Fake charities are part of the IRS's Dirty Dozen tax scams for 2022. As noted above, taxpayers should verify legitimate and qualified charities using the Tax Exempt Organization Search tool on Donors should never feel pressured to give immediately.

Links to more information

A special website was created for Charity Fraud Awareness Week and features information to help partners, charities and other tax-exempt organizations and non-profits find:

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

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

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

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