The scammer poses as a charitable organization soliciting donations to help the victims of a natural disaster, terrorist attack (such as the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attack), regional conflict, or epidemic. Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 tsunami were popular targets of scammers perpetrating charity scams; other more timeless scam charities purport to be raising money for cancer (disease), AIDS or Ebola virus research, or impersonate charities such as the Red Cross or United Way. The scammer asks for donations, often linking to online news articles to strengthen their story of a funds drive. Also similar to begging scams, the scammer’s victims are charitable people who believe they are helping a worthy cause and expect nothing in return. Once sent, the money is gone and the scammer often disappears, though many will attempt to keep the scam going by asking for a series of payments. The victim may sometimes find themselves in legal trouble after deducting their supposed donations from their income taxes. U.S. tax law states that charitable donations are only deductible if made to a qualified non-profit organization. The scammer may tell the victim their donation is deductible and provide all necessary proof of donation, but the information provided by the scammer is fictional, and if audited, the victim faces stiff penalties as a result of the fraud. Though these scams have some of the highest success rates especially following a major disaster, and are employed by scammers all over the world, the average loss per victim is less than other fraud schemes. This is because, unlike scams involving a large expected payoff, the victim is far less likely to borrow money to donate or donate more than they can spare.
Source : wikipedia