Florida Attorney General issues warning about potential charity scams associated with Surfside building collapse
call 1 (866) 9NO-SCAM to report a scam
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Attorney General Ashley Moody has issued a consumer alert warning Floridians of potential charity scams associated with the Surfside building collapse.
While no charity fraud complaint has been filed with the Attorney General’s office at this time, Attorney General Moody reminds anyone who donates to the victims of the Surfside Building collapse to stay alert and to pay attention. beware of crooks who seek to exploit this disaster for personal gain.
“My heart breaks for those who have been touched by the devastation at Surfside and all who have been touched by this unfathomable disaster,” Moody said.
“I have seen first-hand the remarkable and generous efforts of legitimate charities and individuals who help affected families. Without a doubt, people want to come to the aid of their fellow Floridians stricken by this disaster, but please beware of bad actors trying to take advantage of generous donors.
Whenever a tragedy occurs, crooks may attempt to take advantage of the goodwill of others by posing as representatives of a legitimate charity or marrying a fictitious charity in order to raise funds online. , in person or by phone.
Here are some tips for avoiding charity scams in the aftermath of a disaster:
■ Make sure the charity is registered and eligible to solicit in the state of Florida by visiting FDACS.gov/ConsumerServices and clicking Check-A-Charity.
■ Contact the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance on Give.org or Charity Navigator to determine if a charity has any complaints against them before you donate.
■ Find out how the charity uses donations.
■ Refrain from providing banking information in unsolicited calls or emails on behalf of a charity, carefully review the name of the charity before donating.
Floridians should also be on the lookout for deceptive people who run an online fundraising campaign, like a fake GoFundMe account.
Review the following tips before making a contribution:
■ Consider donating to campaigns created by people you know and trust;
■ If information that raises suspicion is found during the search for a crowdfunding organizer, report your concerns to the Attorney General’s office and the campaign website;
■ Note that some pages may lack beneficiary names because campaign organizers may be adding beneficiaries directly to the page.
■ Notify the campaign website if a potential recipient does not want a campaign to be started or continued on their behalf.
Floridians can report charity scams to the Attorney General’s office by calling 1 (866) 9NO-SCAM or visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.
To check the status of a charity or to file a complaint about a Florida registered charity, contact the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services by clicking here or by calling 1 (800) 435-7352.
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