Officials Warn Against Japan Relief Scams

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) —  Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has released some tips for New Yorkers planning to donate to Japan earthquake and tsunami relief efforts.

He advises that people give to established charities — organizations you’re familiar with, or have an experience assisting in disaster relief. He cautions people to look out for charities that appear solely in response to an event.

PHOTO GALLERY: Deadly Tsunami Hits Japan After 8.9 Quake

You can check on the charity before you give by going to the Attorney General’s website. There, you’ll find financial reports on charities and confirm that the charity is a recognized tax-exempt organization.

LISTEN: Peter Haskell reports.

Before you text a contribution, check the charity’s website or call the charity to confirm it has authorized contributions to be made via text message. Donations via text messaging may not reach the charity until after your phone bill is paid, so it may be faster to contribute directly to the charity.

Avoid unsolicited spam emails. These formats are usually not associated with legitimate charities.

Never give cash. Give your contribution by check made payable to the charity.

Avoid giving credit card or personal information over the phone or by text message.

You can report suspicious organizations by contacting the attorney general’s office at 212-416-8402.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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One Comment

  1. Ziggy says:

    I hear there is one billion dollars of donated monies to Haiti relief that is missing – and probably stolen by crooks and politicians in Haiti.

  2. Ziggy says:

    I give to established charities like – Salvation Army & Red Cross.

    There is no need to give to charities that suddently spring up – especially those affiliated with “famous people”.

    How much charity work experience do they have???

  3. T says:

    I always give to charities, but I never give to my Alma Mater – Brooklyn College. I had way too much negative experience with them all those year ago, so they can burn to the ground for all I care.

  4. Amir says:

    Well the attorney general is NOT the only source in the world and people NEED to get that into their heads because f they dont it’s just another MOb mentality. “What I say goes and nothing else otherwise I have the power to undermine it.”. and that’s the truth. 🙂 You kow like the people who go through your mail “federal crime” or umm….. claim they have more jurisdicction than international organizations………………….. diplomatic problems………………

  5. Bill C says:

    After seeing Red cross driving around in Hummer H3’s, I stopped giving to them.

    1. Lawrence F. says:

      You know, Bill C, your right. Ever since the Confidential Magazine articles disclosing Red Cross unethical behavior, negative things have been written and rewritten ( Condidential Magazine was a cash register type of tabloid popular when I was in highschool, over 52 years ago). But I still feel they are more reliable than the dedicated charities.

  6. Lawrence F. says:

    I know this may sound callous, heinous and whatever you want to call it. Apart from the Red Cross and my Alma Mater (St. John’s University) I rarely contribute to dedicated charities claiming claiming to raise money for specific causes. When I do, and, once again, it is rare, I try to be vary careful and do my research. I’ve been ripped off and, folks, it ain’t nice.

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