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As Floridians well know, big storms long have brought big numbers of scammers in their wake. The online crowdfunding age allows the flim flam men and women to ride in with the storm, in the guise of charities helping the devastated area.
That’s why Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office issued a warning Tuesday about phony charities
“As Floridians, we know all too well the destruction a massive hurricane can cause and how vital charitable donations are in helping communities recover—but before you give, please take steps to ensure your donation will be used to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey, not a scammer exploiting the goodwill of Floridians,” said Attorney General Bondi.
Among the suggestions:
▪ Don’t wait to be solicited. Be proactive and donate to a charity you know.
▪ Before sending your money, check out the charity on Charity Navigator and whether it’s registered as a donation solicitor with the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Also, call Bondi’s office, 1-866-9-NO-SCAM, or the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, 703-276-0100, to find complaints about a charity.
▪ High pressure solicitors or ones who don’t seem to want to tell you what you want to know about their charity? Hang up.
▪ Before giving online, make sure you know who’s running the site.
Those who think they’ve been defrauded can file complaints at 1-866)-9-NO-SCAM or by visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.