AG Provides Advice to Consumers During International Charity Fraud Awareness Week

Watch out for fraudulent and deceptive solicitations...
Attorney General Maura Healey

BOSTON – Attorney General Maura Healey has joined with the National Association of State Charities Officials (NASCO), state charity regulators, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to participate in the first International Charity Fraud Awareness Week.

The FTC, which developed this initiative, has released information and videos in English and Spanish to help consumers recognize charitable solicitation fraud and identify legitimate charities.

 “Many of the strongest and most innovative charities in the country are located right here in Massachusetts,” said AG Healey. “It’s important that consumers have the tools to make informed decisions and give wisely to nonprofit organizations, wherever they may be located, that make a positive impact in our communities.”

AG Healey’s Office encourages potential donors, regardless of where or how they choose to donate, to learn how to spot fraudulent and deceptive solicitations and make sure their contributions benefit the charitable causes they want to support. When donating to a charity, the AG’s Office advises consumers:

  • If you are contributing over the internet, make sure that the website you are visiting belongs to a legitimate and established charity.
  • Remember that most crowdfunding sites are not charities and many typically take a percentage of your donation as a fee.
  • Ask lots of questions. How much of the money goes to the charity and how much to a professional fundraiser? Ask if your contribution is tax deductible and what the charity intends to do with any excess contributions that might remain after the victims’ needs are addressed.
  • Beware of social media posts or emails soliciting donations to copycat organizations or fake websites.
  • Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone soliciting money.
  • Never pay by cash. Pay by check or credit card and make a check out directly to the charity, not the fundraiser or any other individual. Specify, on the check and in writing, whenever possible, the purpose of your donation.

For additional tips on donating, consumers may also review our Give Wisely Advisory and the Donating Dos and Don’ts Guide.

Individuals with inquiries or complaints about charitable solicitations should call the Attorney General's Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division at 617-727-2200 x 2101, or access the complaint form online.


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