Scam Awareness

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Catholic Relief Services values the support of its donors, who give generously to help those in need. Unfortunately, criminals attempt to prey upon this generosity. We have received several reports of recent charity scams fraudulently using CRS’ name and logo. These scams are presented as authorized communications from CRS. CRS encourages all donors to exercise vigilance when interacting with third parties over email, internet, phone, or text message.

How We Accept Donations

CRS only accepts donations in the following ways:

Tips For Protecting Yourself and Reporting Charity Fraud in the United States

If you suspect, or have been the victim of, a charity scam in the United States, please visit these FBI and FTC websites to learn how to protect yourself and report fraud to the appropriate authorities.

Report Scams to CRS

If you suspect, or have been the victim of, a charity scam involving CRS name and logo, please contact us at [email protected] so that we may take appropriate action and alert our donors.

Though we endeavor to take appropriate action and recourse against the perpetrators of these scams, CRS shall not, in any way, be responsible or liable for any loss that may be realized by a member of the public due to these scams.

General Warning Signs

  • Pressure to give right now. A legitimate charity will welcome your donation whenever you choose to make it.
  • A thank-you for a donation you don’t recall making. Making you think you’ve already given to the cause is a common trick unscrupulous fundraisers use to lower your resistance.
  • A request for payment by cash, gift card or wire transfer. Those are scammers' favored payment methods because the money is difficult to trace.

Known Scams

Fake Check Scam: Scammers have sent checks to our donors, in envelopes bearing our name, address, and logo, asking for the check to be deposited and correspondence via text message once complete. The scammer will then ask for money to be sent to them once the check has “cleared” due to a mistake. However, fake checks can take weeks to be discovered, by which time the scammer has taken a donor’s money and left the donor to pay the bank back. Go to the FTC Consumer Information website to learn more about fake check scams.

Grant Disbursement via Social Messaging Apps: Scammers in one of the countries we work have set up groups in various messaging apps, using CRS’ name and logo, to advertise and organize fraudulent grant registration operations. These scammers charge individuals a registration fee to access grant funds which do not exist.

View more information about fake grant disbursement schemes in Nigeria.

Fake Recruiting Sites: Scammers have set up fake recruiting sites, using CRS’ name and logo, charging applications a fee to apply for open positions. CRS never charges fees for application. All open CRS positions are available for application at https://www.crs.org/about/careers.

View more information about fake recruitment offers.