Alerts

AG Alert: All I Want for Christmas is You (to Avoid Holiday Scams)

Says, ‘it is important for Arkansans to do their research before giving to organizations that claim to do good will’

LITTLE ROCK – The holidays bring out the best in Arkansans, but there are some who try to take advantage of kind hearts by posing as charitable organizations to help Arkansans in need during the holiday season. Unfortunately, con artists will recycle tried-and-true scams and target unsuspecting consumers. Scam artists often solicit donations using charity names that are slightly different from the names of legitimate charities to trick consumers. Additionally, the scammers use a sense of urgency to push consumers into quickly donating without allowing consumers time to ask questions about the cause.

“Whether it’s veterans in need, or a local food bank, Arkansans are known for being some of the most generous people on earth, especially during the holidays,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “While the holiday season traditionally lends itself to an increase in charitable giving, it is important for Arkansans to do their research before giving to organizations that claim to do good will.”

Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to help consumers give to only legitimate charities:

  • Do not fall prey to high-pressure sales tactics as they are often the first sign of an unscrupulous and fraudulent charity.
  • Make attempts to determine the validity of an organization by conducting research before getting out a checkbook or credit card in response to a phone solicitation. Personal information could fall into the wrong hands, or the scammers could use it to steal money or identity.
  • Get the organization’s name, address, website and phone number, or give directly to a known nonprofit of choice. Make sure the nonprofit organization is registered with the Arkansas Secretary of State.
  • Use GuideStar.org to compare nonprofit organizations and to get more information.
  • Ask the organization how it will spend donations.
  • Watch out for similar but different organization names as some con artists will use names similar to those of existing, reputable nonprofits in order to trick consumers.
  • Never send cash. Make check or credit card payments for increased security and tax purposes.
  • If donating via text message, verify the organization’s number prior to sending information.

For more information about other common scams and consumer-related issues, please call the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov.

323 Center Street, Suite 200

Little Rock, Arkansas 72201

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