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Scammers Take Advantage Of Blizzard Disaster



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Attorney General Marty Jackley is asking South Dakotans to be on the lookout for scams exploiting blizzard victims.

Jackley says that the Consumer Protection Division continues to receive complaints on fraudulent charitable organizations targeting residents who want to help those affected by the October storm.

The Attorney General's Office says that there are ways to avoid becoming a victim.

-Verify the legitimacy of the nonprofit organization as well as its nonprofit status. Visit such sites as www.charitynavigator.org or www.guidestar.org.
-Ask specifically how this donation will be used.
-Ask how much of your donation will go to the charity and how much will be used to pay fund raising costs.
-Consider giving to charitable organizations with a strong history in providing disaster relief.
-Beware of charitable organizations that use sound alike names of legitimate companies.
-Donors should not respond to any unsolicited emails, but rather go directly to recognized charities or aid organizations.
-Do not pay cash. For security reasons write a check.
-If you want additional information about the charity ask that they send it to you in writing. Any legitimate company will be more than happy to provide this information to verify their legitimacy.

The Attorney General's Office says that those wanting to help ranchers affected by the blizzard are encouraged to visit the Ranchers Relief Fund website.
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