The Ugly Scourge of Charity Telemarketing Scams

One of the most-requested topics for my talks is charity scams. Elders are so often targeted by telemarketing scammers who prey on their generosity and values of giving to make the world a better place. Giving to charity is a major way that elders enact their developmental drives of legacy and control, that is their desire to be remembered in meaningful ways and to maintain some degree of influence in their lives in the face of increasing losses. Giving to a cause near and dear to their hearts helps seniors feel they are a good person and can still help make the world a better place. That’s why telemarketing charity scams are so heartbreaking, especially when targets realize how little of their donations actually go to the causes to which they are giving. 

It’s important to note that the vast majority of nonprofits in America do not use scam telemarketing firms to collect their donations, and the presence of some bad actors shouldn’t mean that all charities or nonprofits are suspect. For those who do use telemarketing firms, the picture is far from pleasing:

In thinking about preventing such scams from draining away money from truly worthy causes, here are a few ideas to consider:

Giving to help those less fortunate and to help make the world a better place calls us into some of the best parts of ourselves. Don’t let scammers ruin this essential part of the elders you care about. 

Thanks for reading,


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