Beware Potential Frauds When Donating To Haiti Relief Efforts

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NEWARK—The Office of the Attorney General and its Division of Consumer Affairs today advised residents to remain cautious of potential scams when they receive donation requests to aid victims of this week’s earthquake in Haiti.

Following past disasters, con artists have preyed upon the public’s generosity and compassion to defraud donors and enrich themselves.
Most charitable organizations soliciting donations and contributions in New Jersey are required to register with the Charities Registration Unit within the Division of Consumer Affairs. Charities that raise less than $10,000 annually or are run by religious or educational institutions are exempt from having to register.

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Residents can check on whether an organization is registered by going to the Consumer Affairs web site, http://njconsumeraffairs.gov/ocp/charities.htm , or by calling the Charities Registration Unit at 973-504-6215.

Potential donors are advised to:

• Not respond to any unsolicited e-mails seeking a donation and to not click on any links contained within these emails;

• Not give your personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions.

• Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as surviving victims or officials asking for donations via e- mail or social networking sites; and

• To make contributions directly to known charitable organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf.


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