TOPEKA – (March 15, 2011) – In light of last week’s tragedy in Japan, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is advising consumers to use caution when giving to charities.
“Kansans are by nature generous and caring people,” Schmidt said. “We know that caring for our neighbors extends far beyond the boundaries of our communities. However, we must also be aware that there are scam artists who would take advantage of this kindness.”
Schmidt’s office offers the following tips for giving to charities:
- Ask for written information, including how much of the money raised is actually used for charitable purposes and how much will end up in the hands of the professional fundraiser.
- Be careful with telemarketers requesting contributions - oftentimes the telemarketer keeps a substantial portion of the donation.
- Do not be pressured into making a contribution or pledge.
- Do not feel obligated to send a donation to charities that send token gifts such as key chains, greeting cards, mailing labels, etc.
- Make certain the charitable organization actually serves the need it claims to serve.
- Ask for financial statements of the organization to determine who will benefit from the donations.
Kansans can also find information on charitable organizations registered in Kansas by visiting www.kscharitycheck.org or by calling (785) 296-4564.
If consumers feel they may have been the victim of a scam, they are urged to contact the attorney general’s office at (785) 296-3751 or (800) 432-2310. They can also file a complaint online at www.ksag.org.