These scams have to stop. Recently, the Federal Trade Commission and regulators for all 50 States filed complaints alleging that a family group and members of their church congregation bilked donors of $187 million over five years. That number again is $187,000,000!!!!!!
The complaints identify four connected groups operating as “personal fiefdoms” and “sham charities”. The complaints explained how the family members enriched themselves at the expense of donors and provided little benefit to the patients in need of support. According to the investigation, the defendants used the $187 million–donated to cancer patients for cars, gym memberships, luxury cruises, vacations, tuition, and to employ extended family or members of their church congregation with six-figure salaries.
Donors were fooled into thinking that they were helping patients battling cancer, but instead, 97% of every dollar went to the family and friends. The defendants allegedly used telemarketing, direct mail, websites and car donation programs to fuel their high flying lifestyle.
While outrageous and despicable, their crimes are unfortunately not unique. As long as there has been not for profit charities, there have been opportunists and criminals conducting frauds in the name of the weak and disadvantaged. These villains take advantage of weak charity oversight and limited enforcement resources to defraud donors and to prey upon the spirit of contribution that fuels charitable giving.
The area of Car Donation is especially vulnerable to charity scammers. Automobile donors are willing to donate a valuable automobile to a charity of their choosing. Fraud charities exploit this willingness and ‘acquire’ the vehicle for $0.00. Many Charity Car programs have little interest in delivering the money to the needy and vulnerable. This is especially true of some car donation charities related to ‘children’ or ‘kid’ causes. These ‘cars for kids’ programs fool donors into thinking that their donation will make a difference in the lives of children but if you take the time to really investigate you’ll find that very little of the Car gets back to the ‘kids’ most just goes to support the processor; not education, not wishes, not health, no real benefit reaches the children in need.
Advanced Remarketing Services was founded to be donor and charity focused. We work exclusively with well-known charities that are focused on service and known for their good deeds in the community. To date, ARS has raised over $95 million dollars for the charities we work with and returned over 80% of every gross dollar raised. NO OTHER NATIONAL PROGRAM COMES CLOSE.
For years Advanced Remarketing Services has been warning donors about the tricky business of charities charity scams. But ultimately the responsibility in policing these organizations doesn’t lie with the attorney generals or the charity watchdogs it lies with the donors. Take a moment to read our Suggestions for Choosing a charitable Car Donation program.
If you’d like more information about Vehicle Donation or Vehicle Donation Scams please contact us we’d be happy to help.
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