Donating to Orlando shooting massacre victims? Beware of scammers

As millions of dollars pour in to help the victims of the shooting massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando that left 49 people dead and dozens more injured, Attorney General Pam Bondi is warning Floridians to be cautious of scam charities popping up.

“Sadly, scammers can exploit tragedy to prey on the good intention of generous people to steal donations from those who need them,” Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a statement.

Bondi offered several tips to avoid scams:

▪ Donate to an established disaster-relief charity or an established aid organization based in the Orlando area.

▪ Check if a charity is legitimate by checking to see if it is registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 800HelpFla.com or by calling 1-800-HELP-FLA.

▪ Contact the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance at Give.org to see whether a charity has any complaints against them.

▪ Look into how much of the donation will actually go toward the work of the charity instead of administrative costs by visiting the FreshFromFlorida.com website.

▪ Be careful for charities that have similar names to established charities.

▪ If you are a victim, file a complaint by calling 1-866-9-NO-SCAM or by visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.

Carli Teproff: 305-376-3587, @CTeproff

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