WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas Attorney General’s Office wants residents to do their homework and be on guard against scams or unscrupulous charities as they participate in Giving Tuesday and throughout the holiday season.

Giving Tuesday is a day focused on donations for charities across Kansas and the nation. The annual event is aimed at helping deserving organizations meet pressing fundraising needs during the holiday season.

Giving tips

  • Ask for written information, including how much of the money raised is actually used for charitable purposes and how much will end up in the hands of the professional fundraiser.
  • Be careful with telemarketers requesting contributions ‑ oftentimes the telemarketer keeps a substantial portion of the donation.
  • Do not be pressured into making a contribution or pledge.
  • Do not feel obligated to send a donation to charities that send token gifts such as key chains, greeting cards, mailing labels, etc.
  • Make certain the charitable organization actually serves the need it claims to serve.
  • Ask for financial statements of the organization to determine who will benefit from the donations.

LINK | Questions you should as before donating

How to tell if you are being scammed

  • The solicitor pressures you into giving money right away.
  • The solicitor refuses to provide you basic information such as the charity’s name and address.
  • Your donation is associated with a contest, such as a sweepstakes or a raffle, that sounds “too good to be true.”
  • The solicitor wants you to pay in cash or wants credit card information but will not accept a check.
  • The solicitor will not let you mail in a check directly, but instead sends someone to pick it up from you.

Do research before donating

  • Search the charity online through a search engine. Check for complaints filed by other consumers.
  • Go to the charity’s website and read about the programs it supports.
  • Contact your local Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints about the charity or search for the charity online at http://bbb.org/charity.
  • Go to https://www.ag.ks.gov/licensing/charities-registration to see if the charity is registered with the Kansas Attorney General’s Office.
  • Find a link to their IRS 990 form which reports their expenses and see if they are associated with any professional fundraisers.

For more tips or to check out a charity, visit www.InYourCornerKansas.org/charities. If you suspect a charity scam or fraud, or any other violation of charitable solicitation laws, you can file a complaint with our Consumer Protection Division online at the aforementioned website or by calling (800) 432-2310.