(WHDH) — The Federal Trade Commission announced two major actions Thursday to combat fraudulent military charities.
The campaign, called Operation Donate with Honor, is aimed at charities that falsely promise their donations will help veterans or active service members.
One alleged scam, known as Help the Vets, took in $20 million in donations intended for wounded and disabled veterans between 2014 and 2017, according to the FTC.
Another solicited cars, boats and timeshares for several made-up veterans’ charities.
In both cases, most of the donations were never passed along to veterans.
Law enforcement officials, charity regulators and the FTC have teamed up in every state on more than 100 enforcement actions against dozens of fake charities.
American’s generosity to the military has led to the exploitation of millions of dollars in donations by scammers.
Acting Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Peter O’Rourke praised the announcement, saying fake charities discourage patriotic Americans from donating to legitimate causes.
If you would like to donate to a charity but don’t know how to confirm it’s legitimate, the FTC recommends looking up the charity’s rating online, paying by check or credit card and doing your research before sending your money.
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