Ark. A.G. Warns About Charity Scams

August 23, 2004

In the wake of the devastation left behind from Hurricane Charley, thousands in Florida have been left homeless and jobless, and many charitable organizations are working hard to help the victims and their families.

While most of these solicitations are good-faith efforts, Attorney General Mike Beebe wants Arkansans to be aware of potentially fraudulent appeals from bogus charities that could try to take advantage of citizens’ generosity and concern for others with post-hurricane scams.

“Given the natural disasters that sometimes strike this state, Arkansans have a special empathy with victims in other states, and should not hesitate to help in any way they wish,” Beebe said. “Unfortunately, there are always scam artists who try to make illegal profits from the pain of others. We saw it after 9/11, we saw it after the Columbia shuttle disaster. Although we haven’t had reports to our office yet, it is very possible that we will see it after Hurricane Charley. It is critical for donors to make certain that they do not give in to high-pressure tactics and that they give wisely.”

Beebe said that charitable solicitations for relief may come in several ways: through the mail, by telephone, from door-to-door appeals, from solicitors stationed outside of stores or traffic intersections, via the Internet, and from announcements in magazines, newspapers, radio, and television.

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