Your client’s big heart could cause them to fall prey to scammers.

The Federal Trade Commission and the National Association of State Charities Officials are asking businesses and individuals to be on the lookout for charity scams as International Charity Fraud Awareness Week kicks off today.

“Generosity is part of the American spirit, and millions of consumers show that generosity every year through charitable giving,” said FTC Chairman Joe Simons in released comments. “Unfortunately, bad actors take advantage of that generosity, which is why it’s important to raise awareness about charity fraud. We empower consumers with tools that help ensure their money ends up where intended. We’re proud to join with our partners in the U.S. and around the world in this effort.”

Americans contribute hundreds of billions of dollars to charity each year, according to the AARP, making them susceptible to scams purporting to be charitable organizations—especially around the holidays.

The FTC offered a reminder of some common scammer characteristics:

• They will attempt to rush victims into making a donation.
• Scammers may attempt to trick victims into paying them by thanking them for a donation they never made.
• Scammers will often use software and devices to make a call look like it comes from a local area code.
• Scammers make vague, broad and sentimental claims without giving specifics as to how a donation is used.
• Bogus charities will claim donations are tax deductible even though they aren’t.
• Scammers may offer an opportunity for sweepstakes winnings in exchange for a donation. This is actually illegal, according to the FTC.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, one odious form of charity scam tends to arise after natural disasters. In the period following earthquakes, floods, hurricanes or wildfires, scammers and bogus charities will contact people by telephone or e-mail to attempt to solicit money, but then little or no money raised actually goes to disaster victims.

In a cruel twist, similar scammers also contact disaster victims, claiming to be working on behalf of the IRS to assist them in filing casualty loss claims and getting tax refunds, then end up pocketing the victims’ money.

The AARP also noted that many charity scams involve fundraising for veterans, police and firefighters services. But consumers should be on the lookout for scammers operating within all types of charitable causes, including health care.

In order to combat fraud, the FTC offered tips to individuals, businesses and charities themselves to help identify fraud:

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