West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey encourages consumers to think before they open their holiday wallet for just any charity.
“This time of year is a popular time for charities to seek donations, but some people may take advantage of the goodwill of others,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Before giving, make sure money is going to the desired charity.”
If you are unsure about the legitimacy of the charity or organization, please review the Secretary of State’s website to see if the charity is registered to solicit donations in West Virginia.
For consumers interested in making an online contribution to a charity or organization, make sure the website starts with https:// when visiting the donation portal.
Attorney General Morrisey provides additional safety tips for charity donations, such as staying alert for organizations who ask for donations in cash or via wire tap and a contribution exceeding $250 should result in a returned letter confirming the charitable status.
Anyone who feels as though they have been scammed while giving to a charity should call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239 or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.