Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is offering tips for secure charitable donations in the wake of the Nepal earthquake that killed more than 4,000 people.
Attorney General DeWine is encouraging charity in this time of need, but also wants Ohio residents to be on the look out for charity scams.
Signs of a potential charity scam include high-pressure tactics, a refusal to provide written information about the charity and requests for checks made payable to a person instead of a charity.
Individuals who want to make charitable donations online should follow remember the following:
-If you receive a text message or email asking for a donation, confirm that the request is from the charity by contacting the charity or visiting its website.
-Check with resources such as the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, IRS, and GuideStar to find information about a charitable organization.
-Be cautious of lookalike websites. Some scam artists may set up websites that appear to be legitimate charity websites in order to gain your personal or financial information.
-Don’t assume that charity recommendations on social media have been properly vetted. Research the charity yourself.
Donors should be cautious with new charities formed shortly after a tragedy. While the organization may have good intentions, it may not have enough experience to quickly respond to a situation. You may want to donate to an established organization that has a proven track record in assisting with international relief efforts.
Individuals who suspect questionable charitable activity or who want to find additional tips should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or 800-282-0515.