Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive
Monday, September 17, 2001
CORNYN WARNS ABOUT FALSE CHARITIES AFTER RECENT DISASTERS
Giving is Commendable, but Watch for Scams by Email, Phone, in Person
AUSTIN - In the wake of last week's disasters on the East Coast, Texas Attorney General John Cornyn is asking citizens to be alert to individuals operating bogus charities and who prey on the generosity of those sympathetic to victims and their families.
Although the Attorney General's Office has received no complaints thus far, Texans are urged to be vigilant and avoid releasing private information such as credit card numbers via email or over the phone.
"Sympathies have run very deep in the aftermath of last week's horrendous disasters in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, and many fine, legitimate charities stand ready to help and they encourage your support," said Attorney General Cornyn. "However, Americans can be certain unscrupulous individuals will come forward to exploit this outpouring of goodwill across the nation. Dishonest people like this have one goal - enriching themselves through deception in the midst of enormous human suffering."
Cornyn urges those who have received suspect emails or other bothersome solicitations to contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division hotline at 800/337-3928 or 800/252-8011. Anyone who has received such an email should forward it to the Attorney General's Office for review at firstname.lastname@example.org
When an individual representing a charity knocks on the door, sends emails or calls on the phone pleading for a charitable donation to help victims, Texans should take the time to ask a few questions before offering a donation. Here are a few tips to avoid falling victim to email scams:
Here are tips for checking out in-person or telephone solicitations:
The Attorney General's Office also cautions concerned citizens wishing to do their part by raising funds for disaster relief. Certain legal requirements for fund raising efforts should be followed, including the registration of public safety groups like firefighters' organizations.
Remember, supporting worthy causes is commendable, but do give wisely.
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