Following the devastating typhoon in the Philippines, Attorney General Mike DeWine is urging Ohioans to be cautious when responding to requests for donations to help those in harm’s way.
“In the wake of this disaster, we want to do all we can to help, and I encourage those who can to do so,” DeWine said. “But please remember that while legitimate charities make good use of your donations, others may use this tragedy to take your money for themselves, not for those in need.”
Charitable donors can protect themselves by following these tips:
• Research before you contribute. Visit www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov to determine if an organization is registered in Ohio and to find additional good-giving resources.
• Donate to well-known, established charities. Be wary of copycat charities or those with names similar to legitimate charities.
• Be wary of unsolicited calls or emails asking for donations. Do not give your credit card or banking information over the phone, and do not click on links or attachments in unsolicited emails.
• Do not make checks payable to an individual. Specify the purpose of your donation in writing, when possible.
• Do not be pressured to give. High-pressure tactics may signal a scam.
When a charitable organization calls you seeking a donation, the caller must provide the name of the organization and the location of its principal place of business. Professional solicitors calling on behalf of an organization also must provide this basic information about the charity, in addition to disclosing the name of the professional solicitor and the fact that the solicitation is being conducted by the caller as a professional solicitor.
Those who suspect charitable fraud should contact the Ohio Attorney General's Office at 800-282-0515 or www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.