(Annapolis, MD) – Appeals for charitable donations will surge as the East Coast reels from the effects of Category 4 Hurricane Irma. To add insult to injury, Hurricanes Jose and Katia are on the heels of Irma. Generous Marylanders will donate to provide relief for those impacted by these horrific disasters. “Donors need to be vigilant and donate wisely, scam artists are out there and prey on the generosity of well-intended donors,” advises John C. Wobensmith, Maryland Secretary of State.
“The devastating effects of Hurricane Irma upended the lives of tens of thousands, maybe more, who are caught in the cross hairs of this disaster. Scam artists may prey on your generosity by trying to con you into giving to fraudulent charities and scams to line their own pockets,” warns Secretary Wobensmith. “Those who suffered the ravages of Irma and similar disasters need and are grateful for your generosity. Make sure that if you choose to give, that your donations are given to reputable, well-established charities.”
The Office of the Secretary of State registers and regulates charitable organizations that solicit contributions in Maryland. Together with the assistance of the Maryland Attorney General, the Secretary of State enforces Maryland’s charitable giving laws to ensure that donations are used for their intended purpose.
Visit http://sos.maryland.gov/Charity/Pages/Giving-Wisely.aspx on the Secretary of State’s website for tips on how to give wisely to charities.
The Office of the Secretary of State keeps a public registry of charitable organizations authorized to solicit in Maryland. Please check the Secretary of State website http://sos.maryland.gov/Charity/Pages/SearchCharity.aspx. for information and to search the registry to determine if a specific charity is authorized to solicit in Maryland.
You may report a complaint if you think you have been a victim of a deceptive or illegal charitable solicitation. Report a complaint to the Charities and Legal Services Division at 410-974-5521 or 1-800-825-4510.