How the scam works:
Social work and development projects are becoming more prevalent in foreign countries, especially in South Asia, Latin America and Africa. Hundreds of thousands of foreigners travel overseas with the intention of donating their time to help better the lives of those less fortunate.
There are lots of fantastic organizations out there that are legitimate in ensuring travelers are able to volunteer their services in various developmental projects. And it’s normal for these organizations to charge some money to help cover their costs and overhead.
The problems arise when scammers create organizations and jobs that don’t exist. Great looking websites and hundreds of fake testimonials will lure people into thinking they are doing a good deed, without the need of doing further research.
The individuals are required to pay “little” fees to help out in a foreign country and arrive to find no work and end up having to turn around and head back at their expense.
How to avoid:
Research, research and more research. Pretend you are and investigator and get investigating! Talk directly with numerous people in the organization. Ask to contact people who have volunteered for them and ensure you read the on-line reviews.
Find out exactly what you will be doing so you know what to expect. Also know what the organization is paying for and what you are responsible for. The more details the better.
And don’t trust any organization that pushes you for fees. A good organization is going to want to know if you’re a fit first. Be smart and ask questions!
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