Attorney General Ken Paxton today encouraged Texans who want to donate to the victims of Hurricane Harvey to give both generously and carefully. Beware of scam artists who use natural disasters to take advantage of the good intentions of others.
“Texans are known for opening their hearts and wallets to others in times of need,” Attorney General Paxton said. “By doing a little research, well-meaning Texans can ensure their dollars actually go to a legitimate charity or organization providing victim and community support, rather than funding fraudulent scams set up to capitalize on a disaster.”
Attorney General Paxton shared the following tips to guard against fake charities and other donation scams:
- Be cautious of requests for donations by unfamiliar organizations or people, especially anyone calling and asking for donations by credit card or requesting personal information.
- When donating money, consider directing your help to a recognized disaster-relief charity, such as the Dell Foundation’s collaboration with the OneStar Foundation for the Rebuild Texas Fund at www.rebuildtx.org.
- Research the charity before you donate money by using Charity Navigator at www.charitynavigator.org
and the resources provided by the Office of the Texas Attorney General at https:// texasattorneygeneral.gov/cpd/ disaster-scams.
- Don’t fall for high-pressure tactics and demands for an immediate donation. A legitimate charity welcomes background checks on their operations.
- Avoid charities or fundraisers that refuse to provide detailed information about their identity, mission, costs or how your donation will be used.
If you suspect you’ve been targeted by a fraudulent charity or donation scam, file a complaint online with the Consumer Protection Division of the Texas Office of the Attorney General’s office at https://texasattorneygeneral.