DENVER (KDVR) — As the Israel-Hamas war continues to unfold, scammers are setting their sights on those in the United States.
Natan Ashkenazi was born and raised in Israel and has lived in the United States for three and a half years. He grew up near the Gaza border, a region marked by the atrocities of war.
“It is happening to these kind of communities that I was brought up in,” Ashkenazi told FOX31.
He is working to raise support for his country, family, friends and neighbors back home through the legitimate Swords For Soldiers charity effort, but was disheartened to learn of the development of various impostor scams targeting other charities.
“They’re trying to intercept funds, and they’re using all these tactics to make it seem like these are valid Israelis asking for donations,” Ashkenazi said.
Fake charities can aid terrorist organizations
Ashkenazi told FOX31 that some fake charities imply donations will help victims but actually fund terrorist organizations.
“They need to understand who are the people behind this and what their cause is and where these funds are directed,” Ashkenazi said.
Dace West, chief impact officer at The Denver Foundation, which vets charities, told the Problem Solvers it’s important to do your research before donating to any cause or clicking on any link to a request for personal information.
Get a referral and verify the charity by a trusted organization and guidestar.org, which provides an organization’s full financial profile and other information.
“It gives lots of information about the organizations, their structure and their financials. You can also look at their financials through what’s called a 990. It’s the tax form for nonprofit organizations,” West said.
Ashkenazi said giving can make a difference, and it’s worth taking the time to find a safe charity before donating.
“I just want people to know that their money is put to good use,” he said.