‘Sham Charities’ May Be Created in New York After Buffalo Terror Attack
New York residents are told to follow these tips because "sham charities" may be created in the wake of the terror attack in Buffalo.
On Sunday, New York Attorney General Letitia James issued an alert urging New Yorkers to beware of "sham charities" or potentially fraudulent charities that may be created in the wake of the hate-filled terror attack in Buffalo.
On Saturday, 13 people were shot and 10 people killed when a gunman opened fire at the Tops grocery store in Buffalo. Most of the victims were Black and the Justice Department is investigating the attack as a hate crime.
Scammers often use incidents of crisis to perpetuate frauds to divert donations away from the intended recipients, according to the New York Attorney General's Office.
“In the wake of tragedies, like the horrific shooting in Buffalo, scammers often take advantage of acts of kindness for personal gain,” James stated. “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.”
Anyone who is considering making a donation should follow these tips issued by James before donating:
- Donate to charities you are familiar with.
"Most charities are required to register and file financial reports with the Office of the Attorney General's Charities Bureau if they solicit contributions from New Yorkers," James Stated.
- Ask how the charity will use your donation.
"Find out more than just the cause. Find out what organization or entity will receive the money and what programs it conducts or what services it provides," James said.
- Research newly formed organizations.
"Often, in the aftermath of tragedies, new organizations emerge to meet community needs. While most of these organizations are well-intentioned, and some may provide innovative forms of assistance, some may not have the experience or infrastructure to follow through on their promises, and some may turn out to be scams," James stated.
- Look into email addresses, if you are solicited by email. Do not give personal information or your credit card number in response to an email.
"If you receive a solicitation by email, find out who is behind that email address. Contact the charity whose name is in the email or visit its website to find out if the email is really from the charity,". James added.
- Use caution when donating via social media or 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. Online platforms that host groups and individuals soliciting for causes may not thoroughly vet those who use their service," James added
- Use caution when donating via a text message.
Use caution when giving out your credit card or personal information over the phone, by text message, or via the internet.
More information about the Buffalo mass shooting is below: