IN LIGHT of the recent tragedy that occurred in Aurora, Colo., the Attorney General’s Office is advising the island to be cautious when choosing a charitable organization.
A mass shooting took place at a movie theater in Aurora last week, leaving 12 people dead and 58 wounded.
In a news release issued yesterday, the AGO pointed out that charitable organizations have started coming together to provide financial support for the victims and their families.
“Scam artists will utilize the emotional aspect of tragedies such as this to con people into thinking they are donating for a good cause,” Attorney General Lenny Rapadas warned. “Instead, donations may fall into the hands of individuals who make a living out of swindling our hard-earned money.”
The AGO provided the following tips and guidelines when making contributions to related charities:
- Reputable organizations do not usually solicit donations from individual consumers via email, and oftentimes unsolicited email messages asking for charitable contributions are fraudulent.
- Beware of organizations that use meaningless terms to suggest they are tax-exempt charities; not every not-for-profit organization needs a tax identification number.
- Be extremely wary of phone calls from people asking to donate to the cause because oftentimes they want personal and bank account information to either utilize your personal information for another scam or empty your bank account.
The Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance has been asked by the Aurora Police Department to coordinate monetary donations for the victims of the Aurora mass tragedy, the AGO stated. To learn more about those efforts, click here.
To report fraudulent organizations or phone calls, contact the AG’s Consumer Claims Unit Advocate Bernie Alvarez at 475-3324 ext. 3340 or email balvarez[at]guamattorneygeneral.com.