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How to identify flood victim relief scams

Updated: 09/18/2013 2:58 PM | Created: 09/18/2013 1:42 PM
By: KOB.com staff

New Mexico Attorney General Gary King is warning residents to be wary of scams that falsely solicit funds to help victims of recent flooding.

King says it is fairly common for scam artists to take advantage of natural disaster situations and take money from unsuspecting people.

The attorney general'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 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 attorney general's office via email at communications@nmag.gov or by filing a complaint report. Consumer Complaint forms are available at http://www.nmag.gov/consumer/file-a-complaint.

To view more online resources for identifying flood fraud, click here.


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