March 11, 2022
Carson City, NV–
Today, as part of National Consumer Protection Week, Nevada Attorney General
Aaron D. Ford and Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske warn Nevada
residents to use caution when deciding on making donations for relief or other
efforts for the benefit of Ukraine.
“Unfortunately, scammers use times of tragedy and unrest to
take advantage of kind-hearted people trying to make a difference,” said AG
Ford. “Be aware of what to look for in charity scams in order to help to
ensure that your support is going to a legitimate effort, and only give to
organizations you trust.”
“We know criminals are opportunistic and use current events
to disguise their schemes with an air of urgency and legitimacy,” said
Secretary Cegavske. “Never make a charitable contribution or investment
decision without understanding what you are contributing to or investing in,
who you are doing business with, where your money is going and how it will be
Attorney General Ford and Secretary Cegavske shared the
following tips on making donations to assist relief and other efforts for the
benefit of Ukraine:
Media and Crowdfunding
– If donating to a crowdfunding platform, be sure to review the platform’s
policies regarding the distribution of collected funds and fees that are
charged. It is safest to only donate to crowdfunding campaigns if you know and
trust the person or company who organized the campaign.
to Organizations You Trust
– Review the charity’s purpose and make sure it’s one that already has a
presence in Ukraine. Not all relief organizations are able to provide immediate
relief to Ukraine or its residents. Find one that is already doing work in the
country or has a legitimate global presence to organize and achieve its stated
Wary of Giving Out Your Personal and Financial Information – Scammers will use a crisis as an
opportunity to steal your identity and money. Never give out your Social
Security Number in response to a charitable solicitation. Debit cards are more
vulnerable as they are directly linked to bank accounts. If a charity is asking
you to pay with anything other than a credit card, it is likely you are being
Out for Similar-Sounding Names, Web Addresses, and other Deceptive Tactics – scammers may use names that
closely resemble well-established charitable organizations to mislead donors.
Fraudulent websites have a slightly different web address from the legitimate
the Legitimacy of a Charity –
You can look up a charity in the IRS’s Tax Exempt Organization Search. Charitable contributions to verified organizations are tax
deductible, and donations to individuals are not.
Check the Organization with Watchdog Groups – Use groups such as CharityWatch, CharityNavigator, and the Better Business Bureau’s Wise
Giving Alliance to
confirm the charity has an A rating.
wary of pop-up organizations and social media pages – Be wary of giving to
organizations that are brand new or have little to no contact information. In
addition, be wary of social media pages selling items for charity, especially
when the pages have little not contact information as these pages are often scams.
Suspected Scams or Fraud – Nevadans
may report charity related fraud by contacting the Office of the Nevada
Attorney General here.
suspect a scam or fraud, or have donated to a fraudulent charity, you
may file a complaint with the Federal
Trade Commission, the Office
of the Nevada Attorney General, or if an online charity, the Internet
Crime Complaint Center IC3.
Include as much information as possible with your complaint, including any
information you have about the person, entity or webpage you donated through. Additionally,
Secretary Cegavske encourages investors to contact the Securities Division it
they are aware of any investment fraud or scheme.