Be aware of unscrupulous ‘charities’ |

Be aware of unscrupulous ‘charities’

DENVER ” In the wake of devastating Hurricane Katrina, AARP ElderWatch warns consumers of unscrupulous charities that will take advantage of people’s compassion during this time of need.

While AARP ElderWatch has not yet received reports of phony charities related to Hurricane Katrina, history has a way of repeating itself. After the Sept. 11 and the tsunami disasters, illegitimate charities were conned consumers throughout the United States and stole donations from people who thought they were giving to legitimate charities.

“We want to warn people to be cautious of who they give to and how their donations will be utilized. The wisest strategy is to give to well-known organizations whose history proves that they will use your donation to directly assist the recovery and rebuilding efforts in the disaster areas,” said Janice L. Friddle, Director of AARP ElderWatch. “We encourage people to be generous, just give wisely.”

AARP ElderWatch wants potential donors to think about the following before making a donation:

Don’t be fooled by charity names that closely resemble other well-known organizations.

Don’t give in to emotional pleas or high pressure tactics that insist that your gift is required immediately. A charity that needs your money today will welcome it just as much tomorrow.

Always write checks payable to the organization, never an individual.

Before you give, research the organization you are considering. The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance at or the Colorado Secretary of State are excellent resources. Consumers can also call AARP ElderWatch at 1-800-222-4444 or log on to for more information.

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