It’s the Season of Giving – Don’t Get Scammed!
OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Scott Pruitt and the AARP Friday warned Oklahomans about criminals looking to prey on their giving spirit during the holidays.
“Oklahomans are known for their generosity, and at this time of year even more so,” Pruitt said. “While helping families in need, Oklahomans need to be sure they are cautious to avoid holiday and charity scams.”
Marjorie Lyons, president of AARP Oklahoma, joined General Pruitt in reminding Oklahomans, especially seniors, about holiday charity scams.
“Unfortunately, older Oklahomans are prime targets for scammers during the holiday season,” Lyons said. “AARP urges all older Oklahomans to be on the lookout for the signs of holiday scams and to be particularly careful about giving out their personal information.”
Pruitt added that there are legitimate groups seeking contributions. By taking a few precautions, donors can make sure their donation ends up in the right hands.
The Attorney General’s Public Protection Unit and AARP offer the following helpful tips to avoid becoming a victim of fraud:
· Watch for high pressure tactics;
· Request information in writing;
· It is okay to hang up the phone, delete the text or e-mail message from an unknown solicitor;
· Don’t give out personal information or credit card numbers to solicitors over the telephone or via e-mail;
· Be suspicious of “free gifts” or “prizes” in return for donations;
· Before making a donation, find out if the charity is registered in Oklahoma by contacting the Secretary of State at
(405) 521-4211 or visit www.sos.ok.gov;
· Never let the solicitor write your donation check for you;
· If donating money, be sure to write checks payable only to the charity;
For more information on giving wisely during the holidays, visit www.oag.ok.gov, www.aarp.org or www.charitywatch.org. To report suspected fraud or scams, contact the AG’s Public Protection Unit at (405) 521-2029 and local law enforcement.