Knowing which charity to donate to - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Knowing which charity to donate to

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) The images emerging from earthquake and tsunami ravaged Japan are heartbreaking.

'Unfortunately with that, we always see a criminal element that comes out and tries to take advantage of those who want to give," said Jonesboro Police Department Sergeant, Steve McDaniel.

McDaniel says before you  donate your hard-earned dollars, do your homework.

"Find out who it is specifically that's soliciting the donation, find out where your money is going, and find out how much of that money that you're giving is actually going to the cause you think it's going to," said McDaniel.

They are questions McDaniel says legitimate organizations should be able to answer, and McDaniel cautions against giving too much information regardless of the method used to give.

"I don't know of any reputable or legitimate organization that would ask for your social security number to give a donation," said McDaniel.

 McDaniel says be weary of those high pressure tactics to get your personal information, or to get you to give.

"The high pressure is the number one red flag," said Deputy Attorney General Jim DePriest.

DePriest says don't give to someone over the phone who you don't know personally.

"There's no way you can know whether they're telling you the truth or not about their program," said DePriest.

DePriest says if you have questions, let the Arkansas Attorney General's office be your resource for answers.

"Number one, if they're not registered with us then they are unlikely to be legitimate.   Number 2, even if they are registered they may or may not depending on the pitch, but we will be able to tell you something about their history," said DePriest.

"It's very important that you call the police and you let the police know that you have been a victim because we might possibly be able to stop the next person from becoming a victim," said McDaniel.

To contact the Arkansas Attorney General's office, call 501-682-2007 or 1-800-482-8982.

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