Don't get scammed: Here's how to 'Donate with Honor'
Alaska, along with every other state in the nation wants to help you avoid veteran charity scams.
Operation Donate with Honor is a new campaign that was made to educate the public on ways to recognize charitable solicitation fraud and identify legitimate charities. It comes at a time where numerous fake charities have popped up, promising to give donations to veterans or service members in need.
“Our veterans have given so much for us and our country. Many of us want to show our appreciation by giving back to them,” said Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth. “Unfortunately, there are those who take advantage of this generosity to line their own pockets. That’s why we all need to be vigilant before we hand our money over.”
Donors are usually targeted online, via telemarketing, direct mail, door-to-door contacts, and at retail stores, falsely promising to help homeless and disabled veterans, to provide veterans with employment counseling, mental health counseling or other assistance and to send care packages to deployed service members, according to a release from Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth’s office.
Officials say if you plan to donate to a charity, the Alaska Attorney General’s Office advises:
- Ask for the charity’s name, website, and physical location.
- Ask how much of any donation will go to the charitable program you want to support.
- Check whether the charity is registered in Alaska at: http://www.law.alaska.gov/department/civil/consumer/charities_list.html
- Search the charity’s name online with the word “scam” or “complaint.” See what other people say about it.
- Check out the charity’s ratings at the Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Watch, or Charity Navigator.
- Never pay with cash, a gift card, or by wiring money.
- Consider paying by credit card, which is the safest option for security and tax purposes.
You can read the Department of Law's advice on wise giving at: http://www.law.alaska.gov/department/civil/consumer/charities.html.
Donors and business owners can find information at: FTC.gov/Charity.
Complaints can be filed to the Alaska Department of Law, Consumer Protection Unit at: http://www.law.alaska.gov/department/civil/consumer/cp_complaint.html.
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