9/14-AG Hawley Warns Missouri Consumers…

about Fraudulent Charities

Jefferson City, Mo. – In the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley today warned consumers to be wary of fake charities that might ask for monetary donations for victims of natural disasters. Scammers have been known to use emails, telephones, and even fake social media accounts to contact consumers asking for donations for recent disasters, and then keep the money.

Attorney General Hawley offered the following tips to help consumers identify fake and real charities:

  • Do your research before giving. Only donate to charities you trust and be wary of charities that seem to pop up after a disaster has occurred. Be leery of crowdfunding sites that allow anyone to ask for money.
  • Avoid unsolicited requests by email, pop-up messages, social media ads, telephone calls, and individuals that go door-to-door.
  • Do not click on any links you receive in emails or on social media. Go directly to the charity’s webpage.
  • Ask questions. Find out who they work for, and what percentage of the donation goes to the charity. If your questions are not answered, that is a red flag.
  • Don’t give any of your personal information to charities you do not trust. Never give your personal information over the phone.
  • Never send cash. There is no guarantee is will make it to the charity.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” Hawley said. “I encourage Missourians to give to relief efforts when able, but be vigilant about possible scams. Only support to trusted charities.”

To report suspected charity fraud, please contact the Attorney General Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-392-8222 or online.