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Beshear warns: Fake charity scams are in Kentucky in the wake of Hurricane Harvey

Personal hygiene items sat organized in boxes put there by volunteers in Dallas. Hundreds of volunteers worked at the location receiving tons of donations for hurricane Harvey victims. In Kentucky, well-meaning people are being target by bogus charity solicitations.
Personal hygiene items sat organized in boxes put there by volunteers in Dallas. Hundreds of volunteers worked at the location receiving tons of donations for hurricane Harvey victims. In Kentucky, well-meaning people are being target by bogus charity solicitations. AP

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear issued an alert Thursday to warn Kentuckians of fake charity scams related to Hurricane Harvey.

Because of the lasting devastation of Hurricane Harvey, Beshear said in a news release, his office is asking Kentuckians to be wary of scammers attempting to profit from relief efforts.

“The families and communities impacted by this deadly storm deserve our help,” he said. “I am asking generous Kentuckians to please take time and verify a charity before making a donation.”

In Kentucky and across the nation, con artists are using bogus charity names or representing themselves as legitimate charities to collect relief money that they falsely claim will benefit storm victims.

Beshear said Kentuckians who aren’t familiar with a charitable organization and how it uses their money can verify what percentage of donations goes to the charity’s purpose on CharityNavigator.org. Additional research tools and resources, including a list of active charitable campaigns in Kentucky, are available on the attorney general’s website.

The Office of the Attorney General also provides these additional tips on how to avoid a fake charity scam:

▪  Don’t feel pressured to give money or financial information over the phone.

▪  Beware of sound-alike charities and phony websites.

▪  Be cautious of social media requests for donations. Some might be legitimate, but consumers need to verify before making donations.

▪  Ask solicitors what percentage of your donation will be given to the relief effort. By law, the solicitor must tell you if you ask.

Kentuckians who receive a fake charity scam call or online solicitation should contact the Office of the Attorney General at 888-432-9257 or file a scam report online.

To stay up to date on new and trending scams, Kentuckians should sign up to receive Scam Alerts from the Office of the Attorney General. To enroll, text the words KYOAG Scam to 468311, or enroll online at AG.ky.gov/scams and select text message or email alert.

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