NEW YORK (NEWS10) – Amid the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) provides warnings and tips to New Yorkers seeking ways to support the Ukrainian people. New Yorkers should be cautious of sham charities attempting to take advantage of this humanitarian crisis.
New Yorkers should be on the alert of potential risks before donating to charities over the phone, through the mail, or online. OAG said individuals should ensure that they are giving to credible organizations and that their contributions reach the causes they intend to support.
Important tips to keep in mind include:
- If you receive a solicited email, find out who is behind that email address. Contact the charity whose name is in the email or visit its website to find out if the email is valid. Do not give your personal or credit card information unless you have verified the charity.
- Before making donations through Social Media or other fundraising sites, research the identity of the organizer or online platforms soliciting for causes with those who use their service.
- Donate to charities you are familiar with and review information about the charity before you give. Most charities are required to register and file financial reports with OAG’s Charities Bureau if they solicit contributions from New Yorkers.
- Check OAG’s website for financial reports of charities
- Find out how the charity plans to use your donation, including the services and individuals your donation will support.
- Look out for newly formed organizations. While most of these organizations are well-intentioned they may not have the experience or infrastructure to follow through on their promises, and some may turn out to be just scams.
- Before you text a contribution ensure the charity authorizes contributions to be made via text message. Check the website or call the charity to confirm.
- Never make a cash donation. Make donations directly to the charity either by check made payable to the organization or through the charity’s website.
- Be cautious before giving credit card or personal information over the phone, by text message, or via the Internet. Ensure that the fundraising campaign is a legitimate organization or charity.
OAG said to report suspicious organizations misrepresenting their work, or if you believe a fundraising or charitable scam is taking place, to contact the Charities Bureau at firstname.lastname@example.org.