BP oil spill charity scam warning

In its recent Fall 2010 issue of Consumer Alert, the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) posted a consumer alert warning individuals against charity scams, especially those claiming to support victims of the BP Oil Spill. The SCDCA warns, "Charity scams are big this time of year. Scam artists pluck the most recent headline in an effort to profit from your kindness."  To avoid being taken for a ride, the SCDCA offers the following advice: 

  • Only give to established charities that you know.
  • Ask questions to find out where the money is going and how much the group is trying to raise.
  • Reject high pressure tactics - it is ok to hang up the phone.
  • Be skeptical if someone thanks you for a previous donation you don't remember making.
  • Avoid making cash donations. 

For more information on charity scams, visit the SCDCA's website at https://consumer.sc.gov/. You may also visit the South Carolina Secretary of State website at www.scsos.com to learn more about valid charities.