Con artists are constantly inventing new ways or recycling old scams to trick unsuspecting, generous Arkansans into giving their hard earned money to fake charities.


Arkansans should be armed with tips to protect themselves from scammers and know that their donations are going to organizations truly making a difference, according to a news release from Attorney General Rutledge.


“Con artists and criminals will take advantage of every opportunity to use Arkansans’ generosity to funnel money into their sham charities,” said Rutledge. “I urge all Arkansans to be cautious and ask questions of those soliciting donations to ensure donations go to those in need.”


Rutledge released the following tips to help consumers verify an organization’s legitimacy before giving money:


• Ask questions before giving. Legitimate charities will be happy to answer questions and will not rush a donation.


• Ask for written information or research the organization online. A legitimate charity will send information that provides the organization’s mission and how the donation will be used, along with proof that the contribution is tax deductible.


• Call the charity directly. To avoid falling victim to sham solicitors, personally contact the charity before giving a donation online, to the person knocking at the front door or to a telephone solicitor to ensure it is not a scam.


• Never send cash. For security and tax records, make donations by check or credit card.


• Search the Arkansas Charities Database for more information on charities in Arkansas and Charity Navigator for more information on charities across the United States.


For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at 800-482-8982 or consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.