The attorney general's office is sharing the following simple tips from the Federal Trade Commission:
- Donate to charities you know and trust. Be alert for charities that seem to have sprung up overnight in connection with current events.
- Ask if a caller is a paid fundraiser, who they work for, and what percentage of your donation goes to the charity and to the fundraiser. If you don't get a clear answer – or if you don’t like the answer – consider donating to a different organization.
- Don't give out personal or financial information – including your credit card or bank account number – unless you know the charity is reputable.
- Never send cash: you can't be sure the organization will receive your donation, and you won’t have a record for tax purposes.
- Check out the charity with the Better Business Bureau's (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, or GuideStar.
- Find out if the charity or fundraiser must be registered in your state by contacting the National Association of State Charity Officials.