SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR) — With a tragedy like the one in Buffalo on Saturday, people often ask, “what can we do to help?”
When it comes to donating, there are plenty of food banks, charities and Go Fund Me’s set up to help the victims and people affected by Saturday’s horrific event.
However, Attorney General Letitia James sent a press release warning New Yorker’s about scam donation efforts.
“In the wake of tragedies, like the horrific shooting in Buffalo, scammers often take advantage of acts of kindness for personal gain,” said Attorney General James.
“As New Yorkers from every corner of the state show their support and solidarity with the Buffalo community, I urge them to be careful of sham charities and make sure they give to trustworthy organizations and groups. I join the whole Buffalo community and the entire state of New York in mourning this senseless, hate-filled act of terror.”
The Attorney general’s office outlined a few simple ways you can make sure your money is going to the right place.
- Check Before Giving. Donate to charities you are familiar with, and if you are not, vet them through the Office of the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau.
- Ask How Your Donation Will Be Used. Find out how the charity plans to use your donation, including the services and individuals your donation will support.
- Look Into Newly Formed Organizations Carefully. Some newly formed organizations will not have the resources or infrastructure to support the donations and get them to where they need to go.
- Solicited by Email? Find Out Who is Soliciting. If you receive a solicitation by email, find out who is behind that email address.
- Be Careful When Giving Through Social Media or Other Fundraising Sites. Before giving through these social media or fundraising sites, research the identity of the organizer of the fundraising efforts and ask the same questions you would of a charity.
- Exercise Caution Before You Text A Contribution. Check the charity’s website or call the charity to confirm it has authorized contributions to be made via text message.
- Don’t Give Cash. Give directly to the charity either by check made payable to the organization or through the charity’s website.
- Be Careful About Personal Information. Including, address, credit/debit card information and bank account numbers.