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Disaster Scams - Lessons Learned
The Attorney General provides Consumer Alerts to inform the public of unfair, misleading, or deceptive business practices, and to provide information and guidance on other issues of concern. Consumer Alerts are not legal advice, legal authority, or a binding legal opinion from the Department of Attorney General.
Don't Be Taken In By Disaster Scams - Lessons Learned
Citizens in our country are very generous when a disaster hits a city, a state, a region of our country, or another country. They see it as an opportunity to show how much they care for their fellow human beings and to do what they can to relieve suffering. We've seen it for every earthquake, volcanic eruption, flood, and terrorist act. Citizens come forth with money, clothes, medical supplies, and food.
Unfortunately, scam artists see opportunities as well, and they come out of the woodwork with every disaster, promising to do good, while deviously plotting only to enrich themselves by stealing money meant for relief efforts or fraudulently obtaining consumers' sensitive financial information.
You can steer clear of disaster scams and still make a positive contribution to relief and rebuilding projects. Here are some suggestions:
INFORMATION FOR DONORS
United Way of America's Hurricane Katrina Response Fund:
100% of money contributed to this fund will be used for hurricane relief in the form of community rebuilding. United Way will not deduct any administrative expenses from donations.
Contributions by check may be sent to:
United Way of America
Salvation Army's Hurricane Relief Fund 2005:
Hurricane Relief Fund 2005
P.O. Box 4857
Jackson, MS 39296-4857
To donate online or for information, visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
American Red Cross:
American Red Cross
To make a donation or for information, visit www.redcross.org or call
The Attorney General's Web site has additional information and advice on charitable giving at www.michigan.gov/ag (click on "Charitable Giving"). Citizens may call the Attorney General's Charitable Trust Section at 517-373-1152 to check on a specific charity. To check on a police or fire organization, call 1-800-769-4515, toll free.
Additional information on e-mail scams, identity theft, and other consumer alerts on a wide range of topics is also available at the Attorney General's Web site, www.michigan.gov/ag (click on "Consumer Alerts"). Mail or telephone inquiries and complaints may be directed to the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at:
Consumer Protection Division
Toll-free within Michigan: 1-877-765-8388
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