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. In an effort to prevent charity scams that fraudulently use CRS’ name and logo or present as authorized communications from CRS, we are raising awareness to protect our donors. CRS encourages all donors to exercise vigilance when interacting with third parties over email, internet, phone or text.
Secure ways to donate:
- Visit crs.org/ways-to-give
- Sign up for a password-protected profile on the CRS Donor Portal.
- To make a gift by phone, call 877-435-7277 from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time.
- To donate by mail, send to our secure donation processing facility:
Catholic Relief Services
P.O. Box 5200 Harlan, IA
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
- A thank you for a donation you do not recall making. Making you think you’ve already given to the cause is a common trick that scammers use to confuse you.
- A request for payment by virtual currency, gift card or wire transfer. Those are scammers' favored payment methods because the money is difficult to trace.
- Scam Websites:
- Misspellings in the URL.
- CRS logo does not go to crs.org.
- Spelling mistakes and other errors throughout the page.
More Ways to Protect Yourself
- Give only to established charities, such as Catholic Relief Services.
- Be aware of new organizations asking for money.
- Manually type out suspicious links instead of clicking on them.
- Give using a check, credit card or debit. If an organization asks you to donate through gift card, virtual currency or wire transfer, it's probably a scam.
Visit Charity and Disaster Fraud — FBI for more information or visit the Better Business Bureau to verify the organization.
Social Media Scams: Scammers set up fake Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok accounts and profiles to solicit donations during disasters or emergencies. These accounts or users send donors to fake websites or provide a fake email address that includes CRS’ name and logo
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.
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 CRS Careers page.