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Florida officials warn of hurricane-related charity scams

Posted at 9:02 AM, Oct 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-05 09:02:01-04

As South Florida braces for Hurricane Matthew, state leaders are warning consumers of charity scams that claim to help victims of the hurricane.

Attorney General Pam Bondi teamed up with crowd-funding website GoFundMe to ensure donations for hurricane victims are actually going to the right people and not scammers.
 
Bondi says the office will work with GoFundMe to look into charities and vet any new accounts set up through the crowdfunding platform that promise to assist victims and rebuild communities.

RELATED: Hurricane Guide  | Storm Shield & WPTV app  | Get Storm Shield Alerts  

The Florida Attorney General's Office has tips on how to avoid charity scammers.
 
Officials advise donors to contact the office to check if an organization has any complaints filed against it.

Donors should also beware of new organizations using similar names and logos as established charities.

The Attorney General Office's also listed additional tips for anyone looking to donate through crowdfunding:

• Consider giving to campaigns created by people you know and trust;

• Report concerns to the Florida Attorney General’s Office and click the Report Campaign button on the GoFundMe campaign page, if information that raises suspicion is found, when researching a crowdfunding organizer;

• Note that some pages may lack names of beneficiaries as campaign organizers could be in the process of adding beneficiaries directly to the page; and

• Notify GoFundMe if a potential recipient does not want a campaign set up, or continued on their behalf, and the account will be closed.

If you believe you have been a victim of a scam or other fradulent activity, you can file a complaint by calling 1-866-9-NO-SCAM or by visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.

This story is from our news partner NBC 6 Miami.