Attorney General warns New Yorkers to beware of scams in wake of Buffalo shooting
STATEN ISLAND, NY – Following Saturday’s Buffalo terrorist attack in which 10 people were fatally shot, New York Attorney General Letitia James issued an alert warning all New York residents beware of potentially fraudulent charities.
Classified as a hate crime by authorities, 13 people were shot and 10 were killed in the shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo on Saturday. Eleven of the 13 victims were black, law enforcement officials said.
Payton Gendron, 18, of Conklin, NY, who walked into a Buffalo supermarket and allegedly killed 10 people Saturday afternoon was charged with murder, according to a report on syracuse.com, SILive.comsister site.
James’ office has warned that scammers are using the incidents as such to make money and divert donations from intended recipients.
James said scammers will take advantage of kindness for personal gain.
“As New Yorkers across the state show their support and solidarity with the Buffalo community, I urge them to be careful of fake charities and make sure they donate to organizations and trustworthy groups,” James said, “I join the entire Buffalo community and all of New York State in mourning this senseless and hate-filled act of terror.
The Attorney General’s office also released advice for those looking to donate to anyone affected by the Buffalo shooting:
– Always check the charities you are donating to before donating money. Most charities are required to register and file financial reports with the Charities Bureau of the Attorney General’s Office if they solicit contributions from New Yorkers. To check out his reports, go to CharitiesNYS.com.
– Before offering money, ask yourself how your gift will be used. Find more than the case and research which entity will receive the money and the programs it runs.
– In the aftermath of tragedies, new organizations are often created. While some are well-meaning and provide innovative support, others lack the experience or the infrastructure. Some may turn out to be scams.
– If you receive an email about donations, it is best to contact the charity whose name is in the email and find out if the email is from the charity.
– If you make a donation via social networks, be careful. Find the identity of the fundraiser organizer. Donors should only give to campaigns run by people they know. Research the charity yourself to confirm that the charity is aware of the campaign and has given approved permission for the use of its name or logo.
– If you receive text messages about a charity, make sure the charity allows SMS contributions.
– When making a donation, give directly to the charity or by check payable to the charity. Otherwise, don’t give money.
– When donating, be careful not to give out your credit card or personal information, whether by phone, text or social media. Make sure the charity and campaign are legitimate when you offer your information.
If you believe an organization is misrepresenting its work or a charity fundraiser or scam is underway, the Attorney General’s Office asks New Yorkers to contact the Charities Bureau at [email protected] .