Virginians warned of donating to fraudulent hurricane relief funds

Virginians warned of donating to fraudulent hurricane relief funds

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia residents are being warned about donating to phony hurricane relief funds.

Attorney General Mark Herring issued the alert Tuesday as Dorian begins to move up the East Coast.

Fake charities and relief funds are common following severe weather, Herring’s office said in a press release, and residents are encouraged to verify the legitimacy of any organization to which they wish to donate.

The attorney general said crowdfunding sources are popular with scammers, and the money from those efforts goes directly into the scammer’s pocket rather than its intended destination.

The warning said to check the legitimacy of crowdfunding sources by checking the creator or page owner’s credentials, look for verification or marks of authenticity and check fraud prevention measures.

If you feel uneasy about donating to a particular organization, find a different, more established charity to which to contribute.

Herring also warned of charities that are created in the storm’s aftermath that may not have the experience or infrastructure to be able to get donations to the affected area.

Other things to be wary of include copy cat charities with names that sound like reputable organizations, charities that initiate contact with you, lack of verifiable information such as an address or phone number and pressure to donate.

Any organization you believe to be fraudulent can be reported to the Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs by calling (804) 786-1343.

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