Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge warns Arkansans of the opportunity for false charity scams to pop up during the holiday season, especially during the popular Giving Tuesday.
While the holiday season can bring out the best in Arkansans, there are many bad actors trying to take advantage and scam others out of money. These scams can target those with a heart for veterans, children in need, or even those serving in their local food pantry.
“As we approach the giving season, remember that there are con artists using fake scams to steal hard-earned money from Arkansans," said Attorney General Rutledge. "Know the signs and how best to protect yourself from these bad actors. If you suspect a scam, call my office and let us do the fighting for you."
Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to help consumers give to only legitimate charities:
- Do not fall prey to high-pressure sales tactics as they are often the first sign of an unscrupulous and fraudulent charity.
- Before getting out a checkbook or credit card in response to a phone solicitation, make attempts to determine the validity of the organization by conducting research.
- Get the organization's name, address, website, and phone number. Make sure the nonprofit organization is registered with the Arkansas Secretary of State.
- If in doubt about the organization’s credibility, discontinue the communications until you can verify whether it is a reputable charity.
- Use GuideStar.org to compare nonprofit organizations and to get more information.
- Ask the organization how it will use the funds from your donation.
- Watch out for similar but different organization names as some con artists will use names similar to those of existing, reputable nonprofits in order to trick consumers.
- Do not give out financial or personal information over the phone or through email to an unknown entity. This information could fall into the wrong hands, or the scammers could use it to steal your money or identity.
- Never send cash. Make check or credit card payments for increased security and tax purposes.
- If donating via text message, verify the organization’s number prior to sending information.
For more information about other common scams and consumer-related issues, please call the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov.a