Next time a telemarketer calls you and asks you to donate to some charity…no matter how benign it sounds…be careful! It may not be a charity at all, but rather a PAC.
A recent article published by the Center for Public Integrity, You donated to kids with cancer. This Vegas telemarketer cashed in, notes that sleezy operators are forming Political Action Committees that sound like charities and which then call millions of people with what seem like legitimate appeals for donations. Then, nearly 100% of any funds received go into their pockets.
The article looks in particular at Richard Zeitlin, whose telemarketing operations are connected with a wide variety of organizations that sound both legit and benign, but which are actually structured as PACs, and therefore exempt from some of the legal controls that govern legitimate charities. Notes the article, “The groups raise money in the name of leukemia-stricken children, breast cancer survivors, police officers, firefighters and struggling military veterans, among others. Little if any of the money donors provide goes toward the causes being championed.”
As always, if you are tempted to donate to charity, might be best to check it out at Charity Navigator or some similar service.