BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - After the deadly, massive earthquake in Nepal, many people may feel compelled to open up their pocket books. However, before doing that the Attorney General's Office says people should do their research and make sure the money is going toward a reputable organization.
They say real charities often face competition from charities scams in times of crisis.
"Rip-off artists often focus on emotional appeals and disasters in the news," said AG Buddy Caldwell. "If you're looking for a way to give, do some research to ensure that your donation will go to a reputable organization that will use the money as promised."
The AG's office lists five ways to give wisely:
1. Donate to charities you know and trust, like organizations with proven track records in dealing with disasters, and always ask what percentage of your donation will go directly to those in need.
2. Be alert for charities that seem to have sprung up overnight in connection with current events, and avoid "Look alike" websites resembling legitimate charitable organizations or law enforcement and emergency response agencies.
3. Never assume that charity messages posted on social media are legitimate or have been vetted. Research the charitable organization yourself.
4. Never send cash. Make donations by check or by credit card, both for security and for tax purposes.
5. Reject high-pressure appeals. Legitimate charities will give consumers time to consider their gifts and to research the organization to which they are giving.
For more information about charity scams or for other consumer-related information, visit www.AGBuddyCaldwell.com or call the AG's Consumer Protection Hotline at (800)-351-4889.