Breast cancer awareness group warns of phone scam soliciting donations

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – If you receive a phone call asking you to donate to the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust (IBCAT), it’s a scam.

The group said it’s become aware of a phone scam in which people are calling to collect money on its behalf. The organization said it doesn’t solicit for outside donations and makes its money from selling breast cancer awareness license plates.

In fact, IBCAT said its fundraising efforts are “intentionally limited to the sale of the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness license plate” through the BMV.

If you receive a call from someone trying to solicit donations on behalf of the group, it didn't come from IBCAT. In some cases, the callers have gone so far as to accuse people of being “heartless” and telling them they should “be ashamed of themselves” for failing to make a donation.

If you think you may have been a victim of the scam, contact IBCAT, the Better Business Bureau and local authorities immediately. IBCAT can be reached by phone at 866.724.2228 or by email at info@breastcancerplate.org.

The group provided a series of tips from the Better Business Bureau about giving to charity:

  • Don’t give cash. Write a check to the organization and use the official name, and not the name of an individual.
  • Keep track of your donations. This way, it will be easier to document your charitable giving when tax time comes.
  • Know the difference between tax exempt and tax deductible. “Tax exempt” means the organization doesn’t have to pay taxes. “Tax deductible” means the donor can deduct their contribution on his/her federal tax return.
  • Do your research. Before donating, ask the charity for a copy of their tax documents to see how much they are helping the community and where your money will go. These documents are public and will help you understand the work a certain charity does.
  • Check the Wise Giving Alliance. The Better Business Bureau developed this alliance to help donors make informed decisions about their contributions. All you need to know about a reputable charity, their work and mission is featured here.
  • If you are being threatened into donating money, hang up immediately and alert your local authorities. No charity will ever guilt you into giving money, so don’t fall for it!