Attorney General Scott Pruitt Friday encouraged Oklahomans to give wisely over the holidays to avoid charity fraud.
“Oklahomans are known for being generous to their neighbors, but they need to be cautious of fraud this time of year and make sure their donations are going to help a reputable and worthy cause,” Pruitt said.
Attorney General Pruitt said before Oklahomans donate to a group, they should research and contact the organization personally to ensure their donation is going to a reputable cause. Taking extra steps can give peace of mind as well as help donations land in the right hands.
The Attorney General’s Public Protection Unit provides the following tips to avoid fraud:
• Do not give credit card numbers over the telephone or via e-mail;
• Write checks payable only to the charity;
• Never be pressured into giving;
• Find out if a charity is registered in Oklahoma by contacting the Secretary of State at (405) 521-4211 or visit www.sos.ok.gov;
• Be leery of “free gifts” or “prizes” in return for donations;
• Ask for information in writing;
• Be leery of charities with names similar to well known organizations;
• Beware of appeals that are long on emotion, but short on facts;
• Never be afraid to ask questions or request information.
For more information on giving wisely during the holidays, visit www.oag.ok.gov, www.aarp.org or www.bbb.org. To report suspected fraud or scams, contact the AG’s Public Protection Unit at(405) 521-2029 or (918) 581-2885, as well as local law enforcement.