NEWS RELEASE: CONSUMER ALERT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Todd Hallidy
Phone: (302) 577-8314
Date: September 13, 2001
A.G. BRADY WARNS 'SCAMS POSSIBLE IN WAKE OF ATTACK'
(Wilmington, DE) - Delaware Attorney General M. Jane Brady today warned
citizens to be wary of charitable solicitations that may surface in the
aftermath of this week's attack on the United States.
"It is heart-warming that so many American citizens are so eager to
do something positive to help during this emergency. Unfortunately, there
is a risk that some could fall prey to con artists claiming to represent
charities," Brady noted. Although the Consumer Protection Office at the
Delaware Department of Justice has not received any complaints of such
activity, there have been anecdotal reports of possible scams in other
Many charitable solicitations are often
made in the wake of national emergencies and disasters. While many of these
solicitations are legitimate, individuals wishing to open their hearts
and their pocketbooks for emergency relief efforts victims should always
take precautions to ensure they are dealing with legitimate charities:
Beware of sound-alike charity names. Some
con artists use names which sound like legitimate charities, but really
Examine your options instead of giving to
the first charity from which you receive an appeal. Ask for information
on the charity in writing. There will be a variety of relief efforts responding
to the diverse needs of victims.
Beware if you see a Delaware address with
a "PMB" designation. This may indicate a mail drop is being used and you
hard-earned money is going out to an unknown address out of state.
Be wary of appeals that are long on emotion
but short on what the charity will do to address the emergency. The more
pressure they put on you, the more likely it is that you are dealing with
a con artist.
Ask how much of your gift would be used for
actual relief, and how much would go towards administrative and fund raising
costs. Any charity which refuses to give you this information is probably
Find out what the charity intends to do with
any excess contributions remaining after the victims' needs are addressed.
Remember there will be opportunities to give
in the future. The problems caused by any disaster don't disappear after
the headlines do.
Finally, any citizen who has received or has
responded to a suspicious solicitation should contact the Consumer Protection
Unit. The toll-free line within Delaware is 1-800-220-5424. Others may
call (302) 577-8600.
The Better Business Bureau can tell you if
the charity is a member. Be wary when dealing with nonmembers.