Indiana Attorney General urges caution while donating to COVID-19 relief

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — As the COVID-19 pandemic goes on, Indiana Attorney General is telling people to use caution when considering donations to organizations.

Attorney General Curtis Hill warns people that some people take advantage of disasters to con people out of their money by posing as legitimate charities.

“Hoosiers, by their very nature and values, tend to be a generous people eager to help their neighbors in times of crisis. Unfortunately, unscrupulous scammers attempt to take advantage of such good-heartedness.

Attorney General Curtis Hill

The Better Business Bureau advises people to make wise giving decisions to charities addressing the coronavirus outbreak. To avoid falling victim to a scam, Attorney General Hill said people should follow these tips:

  • Carefully scrutinize requests from organizations seeking donations purporting to be for charity.
  • Don’t let names that sound like well-known charities confuse you or trick you into immediate donation. Beware of callers who claim to be endorsed by the state.
  • If reached by phone, do not agree to donate money without further research into the organization. Don’t be pressured to make a donation over the phone.
  • Research each organization or cause to which you might wish to donate.
  • Do not share personal information or financial information in response to unsolicited emails, texts or phone calls.
  • Be sure to ask how much of your donation will go directly to the program you want to help.
  • If you are making a donation, make it by check or credit card rather than cash.
  • Don’t assume solicitations on social media or crowdfunding sites are legitimate — or that hyperlinks are accurate — even in posts shared or liked by your friends. Contact your friends offline and request information about links they share.
  • Go to a charity’s verified website and consider donating directly through the website. Legitimate donation websites should begin with “https” rather than just “http.”

To report a charity scam, people can go to the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Indiana Attorney General’s website.

We also have a list of resources that we have been putting together for people looking to help other Hoosiers.

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