Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release
Attorney General Bondi Encourages Wise Giving to Help Hurricane Michael Recovery Efforts During International Charity Fraud Awareness Week
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi is reminding Floridians to give wisely in the wake of Hurricane Michael and in recognition of International Charity Fraud Awareness Week. As the recovery efforts continue, charitable donations will be vital in helping restore the impacted areas. Floridians should take steps to ensure donations go to those in need.
“Hurricane Michael ripped through the Florida Panhandle, leaving a path of destruction that will take a long time to repair. Charitable donations will play an important role in the recovery efforts, and I am asking everyone giving to this worthy cause to please take steps to ensure donations go to those in need,” said Attorney General Bondi.
Anyone wishing to donate can follow these tips to help ensure gifts are used to assist victims and communities recover from Hurricane Michael:
· Be proactive and donate to a reputable organization, rather than wait to be solicited;
· Consider giving to an established disaster-relief charity, such as the Florida Disaster Fund;
· Research a charity using Charity Navigator and by checking with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at FreshFromFlorida.com or 1(800) HELP-FLA, to determine whether the charity is registered to solicit donations in Florida;
· Avoid solicitors using high-pressure tactics or that hesitate to provide more information about a charitable organization;
· If donating online, be sure to confirm the identity of the recipient and be careful when providing any personal contact information;
· Be wary of charities with similar sounding names. Some phony charities may attempt to use names that resemble legitimate, well-known charities; and
· Call the Attorney General’s Office at 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance at (703) 276-0100 to determine if there are any complaints against a charity.
Attorney General Bondi is releasing charity fraud tips as state charity regulators across the country, the National Association of State Charities Officials and the Federal Trade Commission participate in the first annual International Charity Fraud Awareness Week from Oct. 22 to 26. ICFAW is a coordinated international campaign to help charities and consumers avoid charity fraud and promote wise giving.
For more information about ICFAW, click here.
Please report any scams to the Florida Attorney General’s Office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or file a complaint online at MyFloridaLegal.com. For more charity fraud tips and resources for consumers, please visit www.ftc.gov/charity.