“Low-life cyber scum are exploiting this disaster using fake social media accounts,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. "When a natural disaster strikes, many of us ask, how can we help? Giving is good, but it’s important to donate to a legitimate charity that has experience helping victims quickly.”
AG Brnovich offers the following tips to avoid charity scams:
- If you want to make a donation, go to the website of the charity of your choice and make a donation. Do not click on any links in emails or texts you might receive.
- Donate to charities you know and trust. Beware of charities that seem to have appeared overnight in connection with current events.
- Ask if a caller is a paid fundraiser, who they work for, and what percentage of your donation goes to the charity and to the fundraiser. If you don’t get a clear answer - or if you don’t like the answer you get - consider donating to a different organization.
- Don’t give out personal or financial information - including your credit card or bank account number - unless you know the charity is reputable, and never give that information over the phone.
- Never send cash: you can’t be sure the organization will receive your donation, and you won’t have a record for tax purposes.
- Check out charities with the Better Business Bureau's (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, or GuideStar.
To report suspected charity fraud to the Attorney General’s Office, please file a consumer complaint at https://www.azag.gov/complaints/consumer or contact the Consumer Information and Complaints Unit in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763 and in Tucson at (520) 628-6504.See also: How to Help Victims of Hurricane Harvey