PHOENIX – While many Arizonans will participate in Giving Tuesday (tomorrow November 30th), Attorney General Mark Brnovich wants to remind Arizonans to do their homework so their donations don’t go to scammers.
Attorney General Brnovich offers the following tips to avoid charity scams:
- Don't give on impulse. Be cautious of high-pressure requests for donations.
- Avoid giving cash. Donate by credit card or by a check that is payable to the charity, not to an individual. Mail the check directly to the charity.
- Do your homework. Ask for written information (including annual reports) about the charity before you donate. Find out how your donation is distributed and how much of your donation will actually go to the charity itself (compared to administrative costs). You can also use websites like charitynavigator.org to read important reports.
- Watch out for charities with names that sound similar to well-known organizations. Sometimes these sound-alike names are simply intended to confuse donors.
- If you receive an email or text message asking for a donation, confirm that the request is from the charity and not an imposter by contacting the charity directly.
- Never provide personal or financial information to a solicitor over the phone or at your front door.
- Know the difference between “tax-deductible” and “tax-exempt.” Even if an organization is tax-exempt, your donation may not be tax-deductible. The AGO helped pass Senate Bill 1077 that makes it illegal to claim a donation is tax-deductible if it’s not or that a donation is going to a nonprofit if it’s not.
The AGO has taken legal action against fraudulent charities in the past. In 2015, AGO shut down a fake veterans telemarketing scam that targeted vulnerable seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other memory-related disorders. AGO also helped shut down phony cancer charities that bilked millions of dollars from donors nationwide.
If you believe you have been the victim of consumer fraud, you can file a consumer complaint by visiting the Attorney General’s website. If you need a complaint form sent to you, you can contact the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at (800) 352-8431.