NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III and Secretary of State Tre Hargett are warning donors about possible charitable donation scams following mass shootings last weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

“Sadly, it’s common for scam artists to take advantage of those who want to reach out and help,” said General Slatery. “You want to make sure your money goes to legitimate causes that will truly help the victims and their families.”

“Tennesseans are always generous in responding to tragedies,” Secretary Hargett said. “I encourage givers to take your time and make sure you know who your donations will actually benefit as you look for ways to help.”

If you are contacted in person, by telephone, social media, or email by someone claiming to be associated with charities assisting victims in Ohio and Texas, be aware of the following:

  • Do your homework. Research the group’s credentials. If the charity is in Tennessee, check that it is registered with the TN Secretary of State’s Office 
  • Seek out recognizable charities. There may be nothing wrong with a new charity but be wary of groups that spring up right after tragic events.
  • Don’t rush. Request the charity send more information to you. Consider your options carefully.
  • Be smart. If an organization is soliciting donations over the phone or via the internet or social media and you did not initiate contact, do not provide your personal or financial information until you can do research.
  • The rules still apply. Only contributions to qualified tax-exempt charitable organizations are deductible. You can check at www.irs.gov
  • File a complaint. If you’ve witnessed deceptive or misleading fundraising activity, you can file a complaint with the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Office.

For more wise giving tips, click here.