|June 17, 2016
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Millions of dollars are reportedly rapidly being donated to organizations helping the victims and families of the horrific Orlando attack. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s consumer protection staff is in the process of checking hundreds of funding pages on several crowdfunding websites and has been in direct contact with platforms such as GoFundMe.com in an attempt to ensure that charity webpages promising to help the victims of this tragedy are legitimate.
“Generous people worldwide have opened their hearts and their wallets in the wake of the Orlando attack, raising millions of dollars for the victims and families targeted by this senseless act of terror. While my office continues to check on new accounts and websites created in the wake of this tragedy, to give effectively, it is important to continue to donate with caution,” said Attorney General Bondi.
More than 300 GoFundMe.com campaign pages have been created to collect donations with the promise of helping those affected by the Orlando attacks. GoFundMe.com is vetting these accounts and has already verified Equality Florida’s Pulse Victim Fund, where more than $5 million has been raised, as the primary charity collecting funds to assist the families of the victims of this tragedy. Many other charity pages have also been created on other web platforms and are also being reviewed by the Attorney General’s consumer protection staff.
Attorney General Bondi encourages Americans to remain generous and follow these guidelines to avoid charity scams:
- Consider donating to Equality Florida’s Pulse Victim Fund, if wishing to donate to a charity that is collecting funds that will directly help the victims’ families;
- 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; and
- 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.
Consumers who believe they have been a victim of a scam or other fraudulent activity may file a complaint with the Florida Attorney General’s Office by calling 1(866) 9-NO-SCAM or by visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.