CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisy is reminding consumers to use caution as they donate to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
In a release Morrisey offers these tips:
- Never feel pressure to donate immediately
Be suspicious of charities asking for donations in cash or via wire transfer
- If an organization is unfamiliar, research and gather as much information as possible
- Verify that any local chapter is authorized to solicit funds of behalf of its parent organizations
- Go direcetly to a charity or arganization’s website instead of clicking on a link to a desired group
- Be wary of any charity refusing to detail its mission, use of donations or proof of tax deductibilty
- Keep records, including a letter confirming the charitable status of the organization for contribustions in excess of $250
Consumers should also keep in mind all online contributions should start with “https://.” The “s” verifies a secure connection, making it less likely for personal information to be stolen.
Anyone concerned about the legitimacy of a specific charity or organization should confrim it is registered to solicit donations. That information can be accessed through the Secretary of State’s Offices in West Virginia and/or Texas.
If you believe you have been solicited to donate to a charity you think may be fraudulent, you can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808.