Nevada attorney general warns of donation scams in wake of shoot - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Nevada attorney general warns of donation scams in wake of shooting

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Debris litters a festival grounds across the street from the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino on Oct. 3, 2017. (John Locher/AP) Debris litters a festival grounds across the street from the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino on Oct. 3, 2017. (John Locher/AP)

Nevada attorney general sends a warning out to the public about false accounts asking for donations after Sunday's mass shooting.

Adam Laxalt, Nevada's attorney general, said to be on the lookout for scammers forming erroneous charities after official accounts were created to assist victims in Sunday's attack

“I warn individuals attempting to donate in the wake of Sunday’s tragedy that there are many illegitimate GoFundMe accounts and sham charities unimaginably trying to profit from this horrific tragedy,” said Attorney General Adam Laxalt.

The Office of the Nevada Attorney General has been working together with the crowdsourcing platform to ensure that new accounts set up through GoFundMe are used to assist victims and survivors of the shooting.

"Every donation benefits our survivors and families of innocent victims. My office is working to ensure donors’ generosity and goodwill are not capitalized upon by scammers,” said Laxalt.  

GoFundMe has set up a direct link for Las Vegas victims.

If a donor has a question or wants to know more about a campaign before making a donation, the donor can reach out to GoFundMe or the campaign organizer directly through the page.

Donors may report their concerns over suspicious campaigns directly through GoFundMe or to the Nevada Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection at 702-486-3420.

To ensure donation benefits are properly received by the victims and families affected by the Las Vegas shooting, the Office of the Nevada Attorney General offered the following suggestions: 

  • Avoid any charity or fundraiser that asks for donations in cash or via wire transfer. Those that are unable to provide detailed information about their mission or organization and how donations will be used are suspect.  
  • Ask for detailed information about the charity, including name, address and telephone number. Then, conduct some online searches of the charity’s name in combination with the words “complaint” or “scam” to learn about its reputation.  Using online resources offered by the Better Business Bureau can also provide assurances about the trustworthiness of any particular charity.
  • Review the charity’s financial information or its Form 990. For information on Form 990, visit the Nevada Secretary of State website. If a charity claims to use your donations to help the local community, contact the local agency and confirm whether the agency is familiar with the charity and receives financial support from it.
  • Do not feel pressured into making an immediate donation by telephone or in person. The need for donations and the opportunity to give will be present for some time, and legitimate charities will not pressure you into making an immediate donation.
  • Avoiding making checks payable to individuals. Also, avoid providing credit card, bank account or social security number information over the phone.
  • When texting to donate, confirm the number with the source before you donate. The charge will show up on your mobile phone bill, but donations charges are not immediate.
  • Be cautious of unsolicited charitable e-mails and attachments. An unsolicited e-mail is likely part of a scam, and any attachments may have a virus designed to steal financial or other personal information from your computer.
  • Social media sites can also perpetuate scams. As with any other charity, take time to investigate the people behind any social media campaigns to ensure they represent a legitimate organization. Some sites, such as GoFundMe, take affirmative steps to ensure fundraising campaigns are vetted, donations are verified and complaints can be made to protect donors. 
  • Be wary of sound-alike names.  Many sham charities intentionally use names that are easily confused with legitimate, respected charities.

The Federal Trade Commission also provides complaint assistance for anyone who suspects that a scammer is disguising itself as a charity.

Copyright 2017 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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