This week I took action to shut down an organization attempting to take advantage of other’s generosity by falsely claiming to support charities related to families of fallen firefighters and breast cancer patients. Community Charity Advancement, Inc. misled donors into believing that their donations would be put towards legitimate charities and research. However, despite not having a physical location, employees or providing any services, CCAI put only two percent or less of the more than $43 million in contributions received toward charitable organizations or causes.
To appear credible, the charity even allegedly claimed to have partnerships with well-known and legitimate organizations including the University of Florida, Johns Hopkins and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
It is absolutely abhorrent to exploit families of fallen firefighters and breast cancer patients to steal from generous Floridians. Charity scams prey on people’s goodwill and discourage people from giving. Furthermore, every dollar given to a deceptive charity is a dollar that does not go to those in need. This is an outrageous ploy and those responsible will be held accountable.
The holiday season is a popular time to donate to a charity, and while my office is working diligently to protect you from charity scams, I highly encourage everyone to do their due-diligence before donating to a charity.
At the start of the holiday season, I released tips for consumers to safeguard against scammers seeking to take advantage of the generosity of others. Check out my 2017 Holiday Consumer Protection Guide for some of these responsible giving tips. You’ll find tips on how to research charities on page six of the guide.
Pam Bondi says firefighter charity is a fraud, Florida Politics
Attorney General Pam Bondi Warns Parents About Internet-Connected Toys This Holiday Season, Space Coast Daily
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