Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has launched a new video warning Georgians to be informed when the donate during the holiday season.
The new video, created by the Charities Division of the Office of the Secretary of States, provides tips and resources for individuals looking to donate to worthy causes in the next few months.
"Georgians who want to donate to the needy this holiday season are encouraged to do so but should do so wisely." Said Raffensperger. "Especially as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to create economic uncertainty, Georgians who can open up their hearts and wallets should watch this video for guidance on how to give their donation has the largest impact."
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In light of common holiday scams and fraudulent charities, the Georgia Secretary of State offers these crucial DOs and DON'Ts for Georgians who want to give during the holiday season:
• Research and plan your giving to ensure your donations will do good. DO use these organizations to help you research charities.
• Consider how you will make your donation and be careful how you pay.
• DON'T give donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money to an unknown organization.
• DO be safer and donate by credit card or check.
• DO keep a record of all donations and review statements closely to make sure you're only charged the amount you agreed to donate.
• DO make sure you know who is receiving your donation before clicking a link to donate online. DO read Donating Through an Online Giving Portal for more information.
• Keep scammers' tricks in mind
• DON'T let anyone rush you into making a donation.
• DON'T fall for the trick of being thanked for a donation you never made.
• DON'T fall for a 'sound alike' charity.
• DO be aware that scammers can change caller ID to make a call look like it's from a local area code.
• DO be aware that scammers make a lot of vague and sentimental claims but give no specifics about how your donation will be used.
• DO know that guaranteeing sweepstakes winnings in exchange for a donation is not only a scam, it's illegal.
Consumers can report scams and fraudulent charities to the Secretary of State's Charities Division by calling 470-312-2640 or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by filing a complaint with the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint.