Charity Scams

Published on April 19th, 2013

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Officials Warn about Boston Charity Scams

Federal and state officials are warning people to do their research before forwarding any money or personal information to charities that have sprung up in the wake of the bomb attack at the Boston Marathon.

Just hours after the attack, thedomain.com reported that there were more than 100 newly registered Boston-related domain names, many of which were for charitable groups.

Massachusetts Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs Barbra Anthony told CBSBoston,

Our office received reports just this morning that a mere four hours after the attack at the marathon, over 125 domain names were registered to collect money for the victims and several fraudulent twitter accounts were opened asking for money as well.

Federal and state authorities are offering these tips for people who want to help Boston victims:

  • Donate to charities you know and trust.
  • Don’t give out personal information.
  • Never send cash.
  • Ask the fundraiser what percentage of your donation goes directly to the victims and how much goes to the staff of the charity.
  • When contributing online, make sure the website is associated with an established charity and that it offers protections for credit card information.
  • Check whether the charity is registered and has filed information with the Massachusetts AG’s Charity Division at www.mass.gov/ago/charitiesreports.

If you have questions or complaints about charitable solicitations you can contact the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division at 617-727-2200, ext. 2101.

Read more information about scams that crop up in the wake of tragedies and disasters here.

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