OKLAHOMA CITY – In the wake of numerous instances of citizens being scammed by criminals claiming to be collecting money and goods for tornado victims, state Rep. Mark McBride is encouraging anyone who believes they have been the victim of fraudulent activity to contact the Attorney General's Office of Public Protection.

"Unfortunately there have been many reports of fraudulent collection of money and goods in our state that is allegedly collected for disaster relief for the storms in May," said McBride, R-Moore. "It is shameful that people concoct schemes to take advantage of the kindness of Oklahomans, but, unfortunately, this is the world we live in. We want to make sure people know how to avoid being victims and who to contact if they are."

McBride said citizens should be ready to ask questions and investigate any person or organization who attempts to solicit donations from them.

"Ask them questions about where or to whom the money or goods will go or if they have a website or identification card," said McBride. "You can also research organizations online. Legitimate non-profits will have a federal 990 form that they file with the IRS."

McBride said that citizens who believe they are being scammed should contact the Attorney General's office at 405-521-2029 immediately.

McBride also wanted to convey that there are many legitimate organizations that are collecting money and goods on behalf of disaster victims.

"There are many wonderful organizations around that are out there doing incredibly good things for our community," said McBride. "I am proud of those organizations, and their work is made easier and more effective when criminals who are doing illegitimate solicitation are exposed and prosecuted."