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Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody recognizes International Charity Fraud Awareness Week

By Staff | Oct 18, 2022

As Florida continues rebuilding in the wake of Hurricane Ian, Attorney General Moody is recognizing International Charity Fraud Awareness Week with wise-giving tips for people donating to recovery efforts. Many Floridians may wish to contribute to the continuing recovery effort from Hurricane Ian. More than $45 million donors have given to the Florida Disaster Fund alone, as of Thursday. Generous Floridians must stay alert, as scammers often try to exploit disasters to rip off donors.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This year’s International Charity Fraud Awareness Week comes as we continue to rebuild what Hurricane Ian destroyed. Generous Floridians and people across the country are contributing to the recovery efforts and we are so grateful for their support, but I want to remind those who want to give to watch out for charity scams and do some research before donating.”

Attorney General Moody is issuing the following tips to Floridians looking to give:

Research a charity before donating. Search the organization’s name with the word ‘scam’. Use CharityNavigator.org for further vetting;

When donating, use a credit card for extra protection;

Avoid aggressive solicitors and urgent deadlines;

Pay close attention to email addresses and website URLs–fraudulent sites will have slight changes from the legitimate sites;

Keep records of all donations and transactions; and

Do not click on any suspicious links in emails or text messages soliciting money or financial information, even if it seems like it is for a good cause.

Scammers may also target charitable organizations, especially after a disaster. A scammer could attack an organization’s cybersecurity systems in hopes of stealing donors’ identity or financial information, or may create an imposter organization that poaches donors from the true charity.

Florida charitable organizations can help prevent charity fraud by:

Investing in trusted cybersecurity systems and providing cybersecurity training for all employees;

Reviewing payment processing systems to double-check that it follows industry standards; and

Keeping all software up to date.

For additional information and tips for donating safely, check out Attorney General Moody’s Scams at a Glance: Charity Scams.

Floridians can report charity scams to the Florida Attorney General’s Office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.