Sure Your Funds Are Actually Going to Earthquake Victims
MD ( January 14, 2010) - Attorney General Douglas
F. Gansler is advising Marylanders to be cautious about the
relief organizations that they choose to give donations for
the victims of the recent Haitian earthquake.
Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous folks that will view
this time as a way to capitalize on the generosity and compassion
intended for Haitians affected during this disaster,” said
Attorney General Gansler. “Be on the lookout for possible
scams to verify that a relief organization is legitimate
Consumers wishing to make donations to victims of the Haitian
earthquake should confirm before making their donations
that the charity allows donations to be earmarked for this
The Attorney General offers the following suggestions to
consumers who wish to make donations to victims of the
donations to established charities.
not make cash donations -- use credit cards or checks.
if the charity (and paid fund-raiser, if one is used) is
registered with the Maryland Secretary of
how much of the donation goes toward the charitable work and
how much goes toward administrative costs
or the fundraising company contacting the consumer.
Consumers should be skeptical of unsolicited e-mail requesting
donations from organizations that they
do not recognize or that have been organized solely in
response to the
Haitian earthquake. Donors should be wary
in general of solicitations
that require personal information. Bogus
charities often use names and logos that closely resemble those of other
organizations; make sure that you are giving
your donation to the correct organization. Be wary of in-person
solicitors who demand an immediate payment or solicitors
send a courier to pick up checks before
consumer can change his/her mind.
Donors have the right to ask as many questions
as necessary to make an informed decision
about whether or not to
donate. If the charity resists answering
questions, Marylanders should not donate money.
Consider visiting relief websites set up by well-known and legitimate
charities such as the American Red Cross http://www.redcross.org/en/).
In addition, the Center for International Disaster Information
(http://www.cidi.org/incident/haiti-10a/) or InterAction (http://www.interaction.org/crisis-list/earthquake-haiti)
offer links to other recognized charities that are providing
relief for the Haitian victims.
For more information regarding charitable giving, consumers can
visit the Attorney General’s website at http://www.oag.state.md.us/consumer/tip42.htm.
If consumers have any questions concerning a charity, they should
call the Charitable Organizations Division of the Maryland Secretary
of State’s office at 1-800-825-4510 or visit www.sos.state.md.us/charity/charityhome.aspx.