PHOENIX - After viewing the heartbreaking images of the devastation in the Bahamas, many Arizonans have started to donate to Hurricane Dorian relief efforts. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich commends their generosity but reminds those that wish to donate to watch out for hurricane charity scams.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of Hurricane Dorian," said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. "It's important to help any way we can, but disasters also bring out scammers who try to prey on people’s kindness. One of the best ways to protect yourself is to do your homework before making a donation."
Attorney General Mark Brnovich offers the following tips to avoid scams when donating to hurricane relief efforts:
- Do your research. Get the organization’s information and do your homework on that organization.
- You can find out more about a charity through www.charitynavigator.org and the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance at www.give.org.
- Do not give donations in cash or by wire transfer.
- Make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf.
- Watch out for charities with names that sound similar to well-known organizations. Sometimes these sound-alike names are intended to confuse donors.
- Be cautious of individuals representing themselves as surviving victims of a disaster or as government officials asking for donations.
- Do not give unsolicited callers your credit card number or bank account information over the phone, even if the call appears to be legitimate.
- Do not click on links in unsolicited emails and text messages asking you to donate. Even if a message seems legitimate, it could be a phishing attempt. If you want to donate, contact the charity at a website or phone number you know to be valid.
To report suspected charity fraud to the Attorney General’s Office, please file a consumer complaint or contact the Consumer Information and Complaints Unit in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763 and in Tucson at (520) 628-6648.