District Attorney Warns of Hurricane Donation Scams

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Photo courtesy of SF District Attorney.

SAN FRANCISCO—The city’s district attorney’s office are urging the public to beware of con artists who are soliciting donations to assist victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Multiple reports indicate the con artists claim they are working for a community organization or well-known charity.  They have been contacting victims by phone, e-mail or in person.

People should be wary of solicitors who pressure for a donation, request for cash, offer to come to a residence to pick up cash/check or are unable to explain how a donation will be used.

The District Attorney’s Office asks that people instead donate directly to an established, major non-profit organization such as the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army.  Their contact information can be found online.

The legitimacy of a charity can be verified on sites such as www.guidestar.org, www.charitynavigator.org and www.charitywatch.org/toprated.html.

Members of the public are also being advised that if they are contacted by anyone asking for donations they should not give out any personal information and not click on any links when solicited for money through e-mails.

Anyone with questions about these scams or believe they may be victims should immediately contact the Consumer Protection Unit of the District Attorney’s Office at (408) 792-2880.

By Damian Kelly