January 4, 2005
SURE CHARITY IS LEGITIMATE WHEN DONATING TO HELP TSUNAMI SURVIVORS
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. warned Marylanders to be wary of
scams that might surface in the wake of the tsunami
disaster in Southern Asia.
"Unfortunately, con artists often
try to take advantage of the generosity of those who want to help
victims of disasters," Curran said. “Beware of solicitations
for tsunami aid that may not be from legitimate charities.”
A number of legitimate organizations are providing assistance
to tsunami victims. Citizens should contribute only to organizations
that they know well and that willingly provide written information
about their charitable efforts. If you are thinking about contributing:
• Check that a charity is registered with the State, as
required, by calling the Maryland Secretary of State’s Charities
Division at (410) 974-5534 or 1-800-825-4510. Also report any suspicions
of fraudulent solicitations to the Charities Division.
aware that fraudulent solicitors may use an organization name
established and well-known charitable organizations.
cash donations and make checks payable to the organization, not
to any individual
donating by credit card on a website, be sure you are actually
website of the charity that you have chosen, and
not on a phony lookalike website.
• Don’t give your credit card information to a telephone
solicitor or in response to an e-mail. It’s best that you
contact a charity yourself.
Business Bureau’s web page www.give.org lists
several charities involved in tsunami relief efforts and whether
or not the charity meets the BBB’ Wise Give Alliance’s
standards for charity accountability.