Rutledge to Educate Consumers on False Veterans Charity Scams
Says, ‘donor education campaign will serve as one more great resource for Arkansans to ensure their hard-earned money is going to help those who actually need it’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today the launch of 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. Operation Donate with Honor is a coordinated effort of by Arkansas and the other 49 states along with the Federal Trade Commission, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam and Puerto Rico.
“Arkansans always go above and beyond in supporting our military veterans and service members,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “We recognize the sacrifices they and their families have made on our behalf. But some people try to take advantage of Arkansans’ big hearts by posing as a legitimate charity, taking money and never turning it over to military service members. This new nationwide donor education campaign will serve as one more great resource for Arkansans to ensure their hard-earned money is going to help those who actually need it.”
Every year, grateful Americans 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 a few attract donations by lying about help and support not actually delivered. In the process, they harm not only well-meaning donors, but also the many legitimate charities engaged in important and vital work on behalf of veterans and service members.
Operation Donate with Honor is an education campaign, offered in both English and Spanish, to help consumers recognize charitable solicitation fraud and identify legitimate charities. This includes a new video that highlights tips on how to research charities on giving wisely to veterans organizations.
Veterans fundraising fraud schemes target potential donors online, via telemarketing, direct mail and door-to-door contacts. The schemes falsely promise to help homeless and disabled veterans, provide veterans with employment counseling, mental health counseling or other assistance and to send care packages to deployed service members. Many of these schemes solicit nationwide.
This national education campaign is intended to help potential donors, regardless of where or how they choose to donate, learn how to spot fraudulent and deceptive solicitations and make sure contributions are used to benefit veterans and service members.
In 2015, Rutledge launched the first-ever Military and Veterans Initiative at the Attorney General’s office to assist active duty military service members, reservists, veterans and their families with consumer-related issues and many other collaborative efforts.