Las Vegas Sun

October 23, 2017

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Watch out for charity scams after Las Vegas tragedy

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L.E. Baskow

Many gather in prayer as the city of Las Vegas and Clark County host a prayer vigil for the victims of Sunday nights shooting on the Las Vegas Strip at Mountain Crest Park on Tuesday, October 3, 2017. .

Nevada’s attorney general is working with the GoFundMe website to battle scammers attempting to obtain donations intended for victims of Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas.

GoFundMe will battle fake donation pages by establishing a link to vetted charity efforts at www.gofundme.com/helplasvegas.

If you have a question or want to know more about a campaign before making a donation, you can reach out to GoFundMe or the campaign organizer directly through the GoFundMe page.

“I warn individuals attempting to donate in the wake of Sunday’s tragedy that there are many illegitimate GoFundMe accounts and sham charities unimaginably trying to profit from this horrific tragedy,” state Attorney General Adam Laxalt said.

The primary GoFundMe account established by Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak and Metro Sheriff Joe Lombardo had raised more than $9.2 million as of this afternoon.

The Attorney General’s Office offers the following tips for ensuring donations go to legitimate charity efforts:

• Avoid any charity or fundraiser that asks for donations in cash or via wire transfer.

• Ask for detailed information about the charity, including name, address and telephone number. Then conduct some online searches of the charity’s name in combination with the words “complaint” or “scam” to learn about its reputation.

• Don’t feel pressured into making an immediate donation by telephone or in person. The need for donations and the opportunity to give will be present for some time, and legitimate charities will not pressure you into making an immediate donation.

• Avoiding making checks payable to individuals. Also, avoid providing credit card, bank account or Social Security number information over the phone.

• When texting to donate, confirm the number with the source before you donate. The charge will show up on your mobile phone bill, but donation charges are not immediate.

• Be cautious of unsolicited charitable emails and attachments.

• Be wary of sound-alike names. Many sham charities intentionally use names that are easily confused with legitimate, respected charities.