Attorney General Gary King is warning New Mexicans to be wary of scams that falsely solicit funds to help victims of recent flooding here in our state and in neighboring Colorado.
It is fairly common after natural disasters that scam artists begin tugging at heartstrings to entice unsuspecting people to give money to “victims.” Unfortunately, many of those “victims” turn out to be scammers intent upon preying on the sympathies of those who genuinely want to help others who have been affected by flooding or other weather events. Attorney General King’s Office is advising people to be smart about donating by asking questions and guarding their personal financial information.
The AG’s Office is sharing the following simple tips from the Federal Trade Commission:
- Donate to charities you know and trust. Be alert for charities that seem to have sprung up overnight in connection with current events.
- Ask if a caller is a paid fundraiser, who they work for, and what percentage of your donation goes to the charity and to the fundraiser. If you don’t get a clear answer – or if you don’t like the answer – consider donating to a different organization.
- Don’t give out personal or financial information – including your credit card or bank account number – unless you know the charity is reputable.
- Never send cash: you can’t be sure the organization will receive your donation, and you won’t have a record for tax purposes.
- Check out the charity with the AG’s Office Charity Search, Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, or GuideStar.
- Find out if the charity or fundraiser must be registered in your state by contacting the National Association of State Charity Officials.
New Mexicans can report suspected scams to the AG’s office via email at communi…@nmag.gov, or by filing a complaint report.