Ohio Attorney General warns of veteransâ?? charity scams

<font size="2">Donâ??t give your credit card or banking information over the phone to an unexpected caller.</font>

As Ohioans prepare to honor service members on Veterans Day, Attorney General Mike DeWine is warning donors to beware of veteransâ?? charity scams and those who make false promises to help veterans.

â??The majority of veteransâ?? charities provide excellent services to help veterans and their families,â?? Attorney General DeWine said. â??Unfortunately, there are some individuals and organizations that take advantage of the debt of gratitude we feel to our veterans and use the proceeds for their own gain. I encourage Ohioans to be generous, but also take the time to research charities.â??

Thus far in 2013, the Attorney Generalâ??s Charitable Law Section has handled six cases involving veterans-related charities, including a civil judgment against a fraudulent veteransâ?? charity and an agreement with two individuals to stop illegal solicitations on behalf of a legitimate veteransâ?? charity.

Signs of a potential scam include:

- Charities with names that are similar to well-known, nationally recognized charities

- High-pressure tactics and requests for immediate donations

- Callers who are hesitant or unable to answer questions about the charity

- Callers who offer to pick up donations immediately instead of waiting to receive them in the mail

Ohioans can protect themselves from charitable scams:

- Research a charity with the Ohio Attorney Generalâ??s Office. You can search on the officeâ??s website to determine whether an organization is in compliance.

- Find out how your donation will be used. A reputable organization will welcome inquiries.

- Request written information. Review the materials carefully, and check the information with an independent resource before making a donation.

- Review your donations. Donâ??t give your credit card or banking information over the phone to an unexpected caller.

For information about a charity or to file a complaint about a questionable organization, contact the Attorney Generalâ??s Office at 800-282-0515.