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Attorney General DeWine Warns of Tsunami Scams


(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today warned Ohioans to watch for charitable giving scams as they prepare to help fund rescue efforts related to the Japan tsunami.

"Charitable scams tend to emerge after large-scale disasters," DeWine said. "Ohioans should be commended for wanting to help victims, but they should be wary that their generosity is not exploited by scam artists."

Attorney General DeWine urges Ohioans to follow these guidelines for wise charitable giving:

  • Ask how your donation will be used.
  • Ask if the person requesting the donation is a professional solicitor and if so, what percentage of your donation will stay with the charity.
  • Beware of alleged charities using names designed to be similar to larger, respected organizations.
  • Decline to contribute to any charity that is unable or unwilling to answer your questions.
  • Do not fall victim when high-pressure tactics are used to secure your donation.
  • When solicited by phone, always ask the caller to send you written materials about the charity.
  • Do not give out personal information such as credit card numbers or bank account numbers over the phone.
  • Decline any offers by the solicitor to pick up your donation in person.
  • Do not pay in cash or make your donation payable to an individual.
  • Verify a real campaign or organization by calling the organization's headquarters directly.

The Charitable Law Section of the Attorney General's Office maintains a register of charitable organizations and professional solicitors that raise money in Ohio. Both must annually file informational returns or financial reports with the Attorney General's Office.

The Office also can take action against fraudulent charitable fundraising schemes. To report questionable fundraising efforts, contact the Attorney General's Office at 800-282-0515.

For more information about good giving habits, visit

Media Contacts:

Eve Mueller: 614-466-3840
Lisa Hackley: 614-466-3840

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