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Trust, Scams, and Safety

Spam or Scam Messages 

On Idealist, we do everything we can to prevent spammers and scammers from using our website; however, sometimes they do manage to sneak in, and it's even possible that one might try to contact you. Please use caution when communicating with people you don't know, and tell us immediately if you receive any messages that seem inappropriate! You can also block any sender right away from your inbox.

Video Resumes 

Occasionally we hear from someone who's received a 'Video Resume' email link that took them to a malware-bearing webpage. These resumes do not come from our site, have no relation to actual Idealist users, and should be treated as spam and deleted immediately. Never open an unsolicited video resume.

How to Stay Safe 

  • Never send money to an individual you haven't yet met. On, individual people should never send a message to solicit donations.
  • Use caution when donating to organizations that aren't well-documented, or if there's any reason whatsoever to doubt their legitimacy.
  • Don't participate in unusual financial exchanges involving bank account transfers or money orders.
  • When in doubt, research and/or ask for referrals. Legitimate organizations will be happy to provide information.

Is this organization legitimate? 

We do our best to research every single organization that's on our site, but sometimes it's difficult to know for sure, especially with organizations in countries where licensing or categorization of nonprofit organizations is incomplete or poorly-documented. The bottom line: if anything looks wrong on an organization's page, or if you ever see a listing on our website that seems inappropriate, please let us know right away so that we can investigate.

How to Report Bad Behavior 

If you suspect that an organization or individual is using our site inappropriately, please let us know immediately! You can read more information about reporting items on our site on our Reporting page.

To learn more about online fraud, ways to protect yourself, and how to bounce back from a scam, see these helpful links:

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