Remain Vigilant for Charity Scams
PHOENIX – Following Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami, Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett is urging the public to be aware for potential for scams by fraudulent charities looking to capitalize on people's good intentions.
"Kind-hearted people feel compelled to respond to tragic events like we witnessed in Japan over the past few days," said Secretary Bennett. "Unfortunately, with every crisis there seems to be those among us who invent despicable schemes designed to take advantage of our compassion. During this time, we must remain especially vigilant for these scams to ensure that our hard earned money gets to the people who desperately need it."
Secretary Bennett also listed a few informational websites for people to visit to make sure that their chosen charity is genuine.
- Search for charities registered with the state of Arizona. http://www.azsos.gov/business_services/Charities
- Visit www.charitynavigator.org and www.give.org for comprehensive reports on charities and read recommendations of groups with proven track records.
"In the days and weeks ahead, I would urge people to perform their due diligence on charities asking for their money," continued the Secretary. "One place they can start their homework is on our website. While the information isn't a guarantee that the organization is genuinely advancing their stated cause, it is a great place to begin their research on how their donation will be used and verify the charity's authenticity."