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The Villages
Saturday, February 24, 2024

Choose wisely when you donate to charity

Ashley Moody
Attorney General Ashley Moody

In light of National Charity Fraud Awareness Week, I am providing safe giving tips for Floridians. 

Even with Giving Tuesday now in the rearview mirror, generous Floridians should be cautious when donating during the holiday season to ensure their contribution ends up in the right hands. Statistics show that charitable organizations will lose 5% of potential revenue each year to fraud. 

Since taking office in 2019, my office has shut down multiple fraudulent charities and recovered more than $2.3 million. We’ve taken down operations pretending to devote their efforts to helping veterans, breast cancer research, assisted community services and more.

To avoid falling victim to charity scams:

  • Research the charity or organization before donating, and make sure it is accredited with the Better Business Bureau or check for its rating on CharityNavigator.org;
  • Beware of fraudulent charities with similar names to legitimate organizations;
  • Do not automatically trust phone calls, emails or text messages from unknown sources requesting donations;
  • Never share personal or financial information to an unexpected contact; and
  • Make sure the connection is secure when making a donation online by looking for the padlock symbol in the web address bar.

To report charity scams or fraud to the Florida Attorney General’s Office, call 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or file a complaint online at MyFloridaLegal.com.

For additional tips and resources for consumers, visit FTC.gov/Charity.

By ensuring donations from generous Floridians go to the desired destination and not to scammers, we are building a Stronger, Safer Florida.

Ashley Moody is attorney general of Florida

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