Asia and Pacific

Zoeller Warns about Bad People Taking Good Money

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November 14- 2013 — Indiana’s Attorney General is reminding Hoosiers to donate wisely as solicitations surface for relief aid after a typhoon in the Philippines (in photo).

Attorney General Greg Zoeller says many legitimate charitable groups are helping with the effort (see www.mypnaa.org).

Zoeller warns that scammers are using the opportunity to exploit caring donors, “Hoosiers have always reached out to help those in need and this provides an opportunity for those who will once again try to turn consumers’ good will into a profit.  During times of tragedy, it is even more important to be smart and make sure your donations are supporting legitimate relief efforts.”

He advises people to verify relief organizations before donating, offering five tips for consumers to consider before making a donation:

  • Donate to established organizations with a track record of organizing and providing disaster relief;
  • Initiate the donation yourself, rather than responding to online, direct mail or phone solicitations asking for money;
  • Watch out for charities with similar sounding names. Some phony charitable organizations use names that are very similar to those of respected organizations.
  • Pay by check. Don’t send cash or a wire transfer as these are common ways scammers use to rip-off victims and avoid detection by law enforcement; and
  • Visit www.CharityNavigator.org to assist in identifying legitimate relief organizations and determine how much of their donations are used to help victims rather than on administrative overhead.

Information about charitable scams, and about making a consumer complaint, is at www.IndianaConsumer.com.

 

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