Well, here we are again at the end of a tax year. Charities are soliciting donations more than ever as so many in our communities are suffering from job loss and homelessness. You want to donate useful items and be a part of the many kindnesses being shown to needy persons this year.
Things you may want to give away include vehicles, clothing and accessories, electronics and items your kiddos have grown out of or no longer use. Be aware of how to make these kinds of donations so that you do not pay dearly for them in the future.
When trading or donating a vehicle be sure to do so by legally transferring title to the agency or person who will be using it. Remove every item of personal information. Be sure not to leave any maintenance receipts from oil changes, etc for a potential thief to find. Check to see that no gas or bank cards have fallen under the seats. Totally empty the glove box of everything with your name or address showing.
It is satisfying to think of someone in need getting to wear your outgrown or unwanted clothing. Examine the pockets of these items and also go through purses and backpacks and empty them too. A carelessly left credit card receipt left in a donated coat or jeans pocket could actually be your own undoing.
Kiddos grow up and leave you with all those toys and especially baby equipment. This stuff is still in good condition. Yet, it takes up a lot of space in your home. Your closets, attic, basement and garage may be full of good gently used products. Beware! Your intent is not to endanger anyone. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has just today launched reports of recalls on certain lamps and bicycles. Outdated baby equipment is weekly recalled because infants have been injured or even died due to the defects in cribs and strollers.
We replace our electronics frequently for better, newer models with more features we like. If you are considering donating computers or cell phones or fax machines with your information on them, wipe them clean before giving them away. You can’t know who will receive them. Some more technically savvy criminals may be able to ruin you financially with information located on discarded electronic devices.
You may be sending a check through the mail to a charity you want to support. Just be sure not to leave it in your mailbox for the mail carrier to pick up. Criminals have equipment for washing and duplicating your personal check.
It is the American way to help one another in hard times. Remember to do so in ways that protect you. Of course most people are honest and act with good intent. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the few who would steal your identity. You want to avoid the devastation caused by identity theft. You have worked hard to secure a wholesome future for your children and a satisfying retirement for yourself. The Federal Trade Commission has produced a video showing how identity theft affects people’s lives.
So, while you are taking care of others, be sure to take care of yourself. Your security is up to you.
Jane Hercules is the author of this article. She believes that each person is responsible for protecting himself from identity theft. She offers suggestions on how to donate to charity in ways that ensure your security and not your undoing.
Article from articlesbase.com
tags: Charities, Donating, Identity, Secure