OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Scott Pruitt issued a warning Tuesday for Oklahomans who plan to contribute to charities and assist residents in the northeast following Hurricane Sandy.
“We know from past experience that this type of natural disaster attracts criminals looking for ways to take advantage of residents,” Pruitt said. “Oklahomans need to be careful and make sure they donate to a reputable charity.”
General Pruitt issued the warning after officials in several states reported instances of scammers calling households, claiming to be hurricane related charities. Charity fraud can happen with local door-to-door solicitations, e-mails or telephone calls.
The Attorney General’s Public Protection Unit offered the following warning signs for possible charity scams:
• High pressure pitches. Reject them: It’s okay to hang up;
• Requests for cash. Avoid giving cash donations;
• Charities that offer to send a courier or overnight delivery service to collect your money;
• Ask for banking or credit card information over the telephone;
• The charity uses a similar sounding name to a well-known organization;
• Charities that spring up overnight, especially those that involve current events like natural disasters or those that claim to be for police officers, veterans or firefighters. They probably don't have the infrastructure to get your donations to the affected area or people.
For more tips and resources, go online to www.oag.ok.gov/oagweb.nsf/Consumer, visit the Attorney General’s Facebook Page or call the Public Protection Unit at (405) 521-2029.
For information on reputable charities, go online to www.charitywatch.org.