Brown warns of sham fire charities

Kathy Woods Sep. 3, 2009, 1:10pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-- California Attorney General Jerry Brown has issued a warning to beware of sham fire relief charities.

With the many fire disasters California is facing, con artists wanting to take advantage of the situation and rip-off people who are truly trying to help others in their time of need, the Democratic AG said in a statment.

"After virtually every disaster, scam artist come out of the woodwork to defraud individuals wishing to help victims, Brown said. "Californians should give only to reputable organizations so their donations don't end up lining the pockets of criminals and opportunists."

Brown offers these tips to follow when donating: Take action yourself; do not fall for high pressure solicitations. Beware of "copycat" names that sound similar to the real organization but not quite match. Do not give through e-Mail solicitations. Do not give cash donations. Do not be pressured into giving. Ask what percentage will be used for the charitable activities and ask what the charity does with excess donations.

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