COLUMBUS - In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School murders, Attorney General Mike DeWine is reminding Ohioans to be careful when donating to charities.
"The tragedy in Connecticut that took so many lives and broke the hearts of the victims' families has also spread sorrow throughout our nation," DeWine said in a news release. "We want to reach out and help however we can.
''But please remember that while legitimate funds and charities make good use of your donations, there are scammers who may use this horrific event to steal money for themselves."
Phony appeals made through social media sites and text messages are especially popular under these circumstances because they can be done almost immediately and virtually anonymously, he said.
Ohioans can also research a charity at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov to find out whether the organization is registered and current in Ohio.
If contacted by a charity or a professional solicitor calling on behalf of a charity, there is basic information they must provide and additional questions potential donors can ask that must be answered, the release states.
When a charitable organization calls seeking a donation, the caller must provide the name of the organization and the location of its principal place of business. Professional solicitors calling on behalf of an organization must also provide this basic information about the charity, in addition to disclosing the name of the professional solicitor and the fact that the solicitation is being conducted by the caller as a professional solicitor, according to the Attorney General's Office.
For concerns or more information, call the Attorney General's Office at 800-282-0515, or file a complaint at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.