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Attorney General Josh Stein Cautions North Carolinians About Charity Scams

For Immediate Release:
Friday, October 21, 2022

Contact: Nazneen Ahmed
919-716-0060

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today reminded North Carolinians to be on the lookout for charity scams and shared tips to help avoid charity scammers ahead of the holiday season as part of National Charity Fraud Awareness Week. So far in 2022, more than 4,538 reports about charitable solicitation scams have been filed with the Federal Trade Commission.

“When you donate of your hard-earned money, you should feel confident that it’ll help others, not line some scammer’s pocket,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “As we near the holidays, please take care so scammers don’t exploit your goodwill.”

Here are some tips to make sure your donation helps those in need:

  • Choose charities you know and want to support, or whose work is local to your community.
  • Don’t just give to a charity because it sent you a letter, called, or emailed you – it may not be legitimate.
  • If you’re feeling pressured to give immediately, don’t. Legitimate charities won’t pressure you.
  • Ask questions about how much of your donation actually goes to help those in need. Sometimes, telephone solicitors will pocket a large percentage of a donation.
  • Research a charity before you commit to giving them money. You can determine whether charities are licensed in North Carolina and look up their annual reports on the North Carolina Secretary of State Charities & Fundraisers Search (sosnc.gov). You can also check with Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Wise Giving AllianceCharity NavigatorCharity Watch, or GuideStar, or call the North Carolina Department of Justice at 1-877-5-NOSCAM.
  • When you’re making your donation, pay with a credit card through the charity’s website or by calling a phone number you know to be legitimate. Credit cards are best for security and tax purposes, and so you can dispute the charge later if there’s a concern.

More tips are available here. If you think you or someone you know has been the victim of a charity scam, file a complaint with our office’s Consumer Protection Division at https://ncdoj.gov/file-a-complaint/ or by phone at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.

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