Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum wants the public to be aware of a potential for charitable scams as wildfires continue to burn across the state of Oregon.
“The ongoing wildfires in Oregon are tragic and many are suffering. Kind and generous Oregonians are stepping up to help out by making donations,” said AG Rosenblum. “Unfortunately, we know there are some bad actors out there who will try to prosper off any disaster. I encourage Oregonians to give, but I want to help make sure your donations get to the right place and are used for their intended purpose.”
Give wisely and avoid potential scams by following these five tips:
Do your research. There are more than one million charities registered with the IRS. Find the best charities for you by visiting one of the following websites: Guide Star, Charity Navigator, Better Business Bureau.
Only give to registered charities. Before you give, check the Oregon Department of Justice database or call 971-673-1880 to confirm the organization is properly registered with the Oregon Department of Justice.
Monetary donations are usually preferred. Managing and storing gifts of clothing, food, and household items can often strain limited resources. Before donating these kinds of supplies, check with the organization you are supporting.
Be wary of telephone, email or door to door solicitations. Resist high-pressure appeals for donations and don’t send cash or respond to requests to purchase and send gift cards.
Remember that not all gifts are tax-deductible. Only gifts to charities that have IRS 501(c)(3) status are tax-deductible. Check the IRS website