U.S. Attorney warns about charity scams
Elkins, W.Va. – The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia is warning people about fraudulent charity solicitations. William J. Ihlenfeld says the public should be cautious when contributing to Hurricane Sandy disaster relief efforts. Suspected fraudulent activity pertaining to relief efforts associated with Hurricane Sandy should be reported to the toll-free National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline at 866-720-5721. The hotline is staffed by a live operator 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for the purpose of reporting suspected scams being perpetrated by criminals in the aftermath of disasters. A report of fraudulent activity can also be made via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scams can come in all forms- such as by email or phone calls. Be cautious of who you are giving your personal information to, and if it’s not a well-known, reputable charity, please do some research before making a contribution.
In addition to raising public awareness, the NCDF is the intake center for all disaster relief fraud. Therefore, if you observe that someone has submitted a fraudulent claim for disaster relief, or observe any other suspected fraudulent activities pertaining to the receipt of government funds as part of disaster relief or clean up, please contact the NCDF.
Suspicious e-mail solicitations or fraudulent websites can also be reported to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.