News Column

Watch Out for Bombing Victim Assistance Scams

April 19, 2013

New Mexico Attorney General Gary King is warning New Mexicans about possible scams by individuals and groups soliciting funds to assist Boston Marathon bombing victims.

AG King says phony charities or other organizations could be seeking monetary donations for the victims of this week's tragedy in Boston. Anyone who is solicited should make extra efforts to be sure they are donating to a legitimate charity or organization.

REMINDERS:

Do not share personal or financial information unless you initiate contact.

Always make a donation check payable to the organization not an individual.

Never donate cash.

Be wary of solicitors who use pressure tactics to get you to donate.

Check to see if the charity is registered and filing with the Attorney General's Charities Unit. For registration information: https://sites.google.com/a/nmag.gov/test-nmag/the_office/Communications-Division /consumer-protection/charities

After tragedies of this nature, there are always individuals who will use the Internet to perpetrate fraud. Make sure that the website you visit is operated by the charity you want to donate to. Also, make sure the site is secure and will offer protection for your credit card number.

Know your charity. Take the time to verify the address, phone number, contact information, and review the website and written material, when possible.

Do not feel compelled to give to the

first charity you come across. There are a number of established organizations already responding to the diverse needs created by the tragedy.

Ask lots of questions. How much of the money goes to the charity and how much to a professional fundraiser? Ask who employs the telephone solicitor, if your contribution is tax deductible and what the charity intends to do with any excess contributions that might remain after the victims' needs are addressed.

If you believe you have been contacted by a scammer, report to the New Mexico Attorney General's Office at communications@nmag.gov.

If you have had monetary loss and want to file a complaint with the AG's office, complaint forms can be downloaded from nmag.gov.

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(c)2013 the Silver City Sun-News (Silver City, N.M.)

Distributed by MCT Information Services




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Source: Copyright Silver City Sun-News (NM) 2013


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