Guam joins federal push to combat fraudulent charities
The Office of the Guam Attorney General has joined the Federal Trade Commission, law enforcement officials and charity regulators from every state, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico in announcing “Operation Donate with Honor,” a sweeping new donor education campaign to help donors spot and avoid fundraising solicitations that falsely promise their donations will help veterans and service members. The new campaign is being released in conjunction with announcements of new and recent law enforcement actions by the FTC and many states and territories.
[Video from the FTC on this issue here.]
“As we approach the 74th Guam Liberation Day, we should be mindful of the legacy of the U.S. Armed Forces and all those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the liberation of our island and the promotion of freedom worldwide. Every year, grateful members of our community repay the sacrifices made by those who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces with contributions to charities that promise to deliver needed help and services to veterans and service members. Most of these charities live up to fundraising promises, but there are a few that attract donations by misrepresentation and undelivered promises. It is important that we participate with the FTC and National Association of State Charity Officials in bringing awareness to the public,” said Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson.
When donating to charity, among other things, Barrett-Anderson advises:
Don’t rely on a sympathetic sounding name to make a donation
Ask for the charity’s name, website, and physical location
Ask how much of any donation will go to the charitable program you want to support
Search the charity’s name online with the word “scam” or “complaint.” See what other people say about it
Check out the charity’s ratings at the Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Watch, or Charity Navigator
Never pay with cash, a gift card, or by wiring money
Consider paying by credit card, which is the safest option for security and tax purposes
Don’t stop giving!Legitimate charities deserve our support.
Donors and business owners can also find information on donating wisely at FTC.gov/Charity, or by calling the FTC’s Consumer Response Center at 877-382-4357. The OAG’s Consumer Protection Division hosts presentations on this topic. For inquiries, contact them at 475-3324 ext. 3320.
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