|June 14, 2016
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
|en Español||Print Version||Tweet|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—In the wake of the tragic attack in Orlando, the worst mass shooting in United States history, Attorney General Pam Bondi is warning Floridians to be wary of sham charities trying to exploit the goodwill of others.
“My heart breaks for the victims, their families, friends and our country during this horrific tragedy,” said Attorney General Bondi. “So many Americans are doing what they can, and if you plan to give to a charity claiming to assist the victims and their families, please follow some simple guidelines to ensure the charity is legitimate and the money is going to those in need. Sadly, scammers can exploit tragedy to prey on the good intention of generous people to steal donations from those who need them.”
People wanting to donate during this tragedy can follow these tips to avoid charity-related scams:
- Consider donating to an established disaster-relief charity or an established aid organization based in the Orlando area. Numerous incident-specific charities may be created, some legitimately wishing to bring aid to those affected and others wishing to profit off of the goodwill offered in a time of need;
- Determine whether a charity soliciting money is legitimate by checking to see if it is registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 800HelpFla.com or by calling 1 (800) HELP-FLA;
- Contact the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance at Give.org to determine whether a charity has any complaints against them;
- Understand how much of the donation will actually go toward the work of the charity as opposed to administrative and fundraising expenses. To learn more about a registered charity’s spending visit FreshFromFlorida.com; and
- Watch for similar sounding charities. It’s not unusual for scammers to choose names that sound like the names of legitimate, widely known charities.
Consumers who believe they have been a victim of a scam or other fraudulent activity may file a complaint by calling 1(866) 9-NO-SCAM or by visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.