Beware of Hurricane Relief Scams

Thursday, September 8, 2005
The catastrophic damage caused by Hurricane Katrina has inspired many Texans to give generously in an effort to help desperate victims. Unfortunately, in times like these, scam artists and thieves will try to take advantage of your kindness. Be very cautious in responding to solicitations for aid.

Be particularly cautious about websites and unsolicited emails seeking donations. Many of these "charities" are bogus. I commend you for your desire to give, but I urge you to make sure your donation reaches the people you intend to help. Many legitimate and well known charitable organizations such as the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army are focusing their efforts on hurricane relief at this time. Note that reputable organizations do not directly solicit individual consumers for donations by telephone, door-to-door or by email. Do not use links that you find in unsolicited emails to access the websites of these organizations.

If you have any questions about the legitimacy or authenticity of a charitable effort, contact www.give.org for information. Give.org is a website maintained by the Council of Better Business Bureaus to promote wise charitable giving. Also, remember to confirm the tax-exempt status of any organization to which you choose to make a donation.

General Abbott's signature
Greg Abbott
Attorney General of Texas

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