Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman Reminds Coloradans to Donate Wisely in Wake of Orlando Tragedy
Denver – Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman is urging consumers to do their homework before responding to a solicitation for money to help victims of the shooting in Orlando, Florida. Sadly, many fraudsters take advantage of tragedy to line their own pockets through donation scams.
“Coloradans always are extremely generous in response to those in need. Be charitable, but be smart,” said Attorney General Coffman. “If you want to help, ensure that the person collecting your money is really giving it to victims or to organizations providing victim and community support.”
Consumers should keep in mind the following before they open their hearts and wallets:
- Research the charity before you donate. Ask for detailed information about the organization including name, address, telephone number, licensing information, and percentage of your donation that will go to the charity. Search online for substantiating information as well as for their reputation using services like ChecktheCharity.com, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance at give.org, or others.
- Be especially wary of brand-new charities and crowdfunding sites that have popped up as a result of this tragic event. Even if they are well-intentioned, they may not have the necessary infrastructure to provide relief or services to the victims.
- Avoid charities or fundraisers that refuse to provide detailed information about their identity, mission, costs, or how your donation will be used.
- Know that not all donations are tax-deductible – donations to specific individuals or families, for example, are not. If someone raising money on behalf of a particular victim or family says your donation is tax-deductible, chances are it’s a scam.
- Consider donating through the City of Orlando, which has set up a site at OneOrlando.org to collect donations that will be distributed through the Central Florida Community Foundation. Similarly, the National Compassion Fund at nationalcompassionfund.org was formed specifically to support the victims of mass casualty crimes and has set up a fund to address the Orlando shootings.
DateJune 16th, 2016