Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Encourages Californians to Safeguard Donations During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Friday, October 21, 2011
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SAN FRANCISCO --- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued a consumer alert with tips on how Californians can make safe, informed donations this October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Attorney General Harris offers the following five tips to the public on how to avoid “sound-alike” organizations and scam artists that use high-volume donation periods to prey on the goodwill of Californians.

1. Avoid giving your credit card number to a telephone solicitor. Avoid giving cash to an individual or responding to an e-mail solicitation. Instead, seek out known organizations and give directly by calling the organization, visiting its official website, or mailing a check to the listed address.

2. Research an organization before you donate by visiting:
- California Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts, http://oag.ca.gov/charities
- Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, www.give.org
- Charity Navigator, www.charitynavigator.org

3. Learn about an organization by asking the right questions: Does the organization only support research? Does it fund community health programs? How are donations used? What percentage of donations is used for charitable activities?

4. Avoid generic claims like “Supports Breast Cancer Programs,” and look for a name, label, or logo that you recognize and can verify.

5. Ask the organization not to store your credit card information.

For additional tips on charitable giving, go to http://ag.ca.gov/charities/charit_giving.php.

Californians who believe they have been victimized by a fraudulent charitable solicitation should file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts at http://ag.ca.gov/charities.php.

# # #