TOPEKA – (October 19, 2012) – Some Wichita area residents have recently reported receiving suspicious phone calls from purported charitable fundraisers. The callers suggest that failure to donate to a charity could result in prosecution by the Attorney General. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt reminds Kansans that donating to charitable organizations is a personal choice, and that they are under no legal obligation to do so.
The Attorney General does, however, investigate improper solicitation of charitable donations. Schmidt recommends that you investigate before you donate. 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. Do not be pressured into making a contribution or pledge. Take time to ask the following questions before you donate:
- What is the charity's exact name? Scam artists often use names that sound familiar to reputable charitable organizations in order to solicit donations.
- Is the charity registered with the Secretary of State's Office? If so, what is their registration number?
- Does the charity operate nationally? If so, what is the address of its national offices?
- Does it operate locally or have a local center? If so, what is the address of its local office?
- How much of my donation will go to charitable activities?
- How much of my donation will go to administrative expenses?
Kansans can visit www.kscharitycheck.org to see if a charity is registered with the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office. If you suspect you are being misled by charity solicitation, report your experience to the Kansas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-432-2310 or file a complaint online at www.ag.ks.gov.