Paypal vs Integrated Donation form

New Scam Targeting Non-profits – Beware of Donors Asking for a Refund

Our friends at iATS Payments have made us aware of a credit card scam that targets non-profits, and we wanted you to know about it.

What is the scam?

This scam involves a request from a fraudster posing as a donor to refund all or a portion of a credit card donation to a completely different card than what was originally used. These scenarios should be treated as highly suspicious and should be handled with caution.

How does it work?

A donation is made by credit card to a non-profit organization using a stolen credit card, often for a large amount such as $3,300 or $2,500.

The fraudster (posing as a donor) reaches out to the non-profit by phone or email with an emotional story, requesting that all or part of the original donation be refunded to a different credit card.

The non-profit organization agrees to issue the refund, consenting to the fraudster’s request for the refund to be allocated to a different credit card or issued by cheque.

The non-profit organization receives a chargeback (i.e. has to return the funds that were donated to it) for the original transaction because it was made using a stolen credit card. The fraudster succeeds in illegally acquiring funds from the non-profit organization.

Read more about this scam here.

How can it be prevented?

Refunds should only be made to the original method of payment and should never be processed to a different card than the original transaction. Also, refunds should never be paid by cheque for a credit card transaction.

Non-profit staff should be highly aware and proceed with caution if they come across any scenario where a suspicious refund request is made.

Want a better, more secure way to process credit cards?

Sumac has no per-transaction fees and is a PA-DSS compliant payment application.

Download Your Free Guide on Choosing CRM Software for Your Nonprofit!

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Sign up for our newsletter packed full of nonprofit help!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Scroll to Top

Wait, don't go away empty handed.

Join 50,000 other nonprofits in getting the BEST nonprofit tips, tools, and how-to guides delivered right to your inbox!

Subscribe to our newsletter: