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Looking to Donate and Help Ukraine? AG Shapiro’s Office Has Tips to Avoid Scams | WDIY Local News


As Pennsylvanians look to donate money or goods to assist people in Ukraine, Attorney General Josh Shapiro has issued a couple steps to prevent them from falling victim to scams. WDIY’s Sarit Laschinsky has more.

Shapiro’s office says givers should ask question - such as where their donation is specifically going, or who is soliciting the donation - since charities should always be able to give specific information about what their donations will be funding.

Consumers should also ask for the Employee Identification Number for U.S. based charities, which helps simplify IRS searches for charity information.

People are advised to double-check with the IRS or the Pennsylvania Department of State registries to see if the organization they are giving to is registered, and if donations are tax-deductible in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvanians should also check nonprofit sites like CharityWatch.org or Charitynavigator.org which regularly research charities, as the AG’s office says while an organization may be registered, that does not mean it is effective.

Consumers should also be aware of new charities, as organizations that now only exist because of a crisis may not be legitimate.

Finally, Shapiro says consumers should be careful how they pay. Credit cards are best, never donate in cash or on a debit card, and avoid using cryptocurrency like BitCoin.

His office also advises consumers to never give money on impulse, or through a mystery solicitation.

Anyone who believes they have been a victim of a scam should contact local law enforcement to file a report, and also file with the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection at 800-441-2555 or online at https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/scams.

(Original air-date: 3/14/22)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky was WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director until 2023.
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