New York – Attorney General Letitia James, the National Association of State Charities Officials (NASCO) and the Federal Trade Commission, today announced the second annual International Charity Fraud Awareness Week (ICFAW) from October 21 to 25, 2019. ICFAW is a coordinated international campaign to help charities and their contributors avoid charity fraud and promote wise giving.
“It’s unfortunate that far too often, scammers take advantage of the generosity of others in order to line their own pockets,” said Attorney General James. “I am proud to serve a state whose residents always give generously to charities, and I support ICFAW in its efforts to protect generous donors throughout the globe and the charities they support. I urge donors, wherever they are, to take advantage of resources available to them so they may give wisely.”
Some actions that donors may take to avoid fraud are:
- Search the Charities Bureau’s online registry to see if an organization is registered and to review its financial reports.
- See how the charity has been rated by “watchdog” organizations such as the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, and Guidestar.
- Find out if a contribution is tax-deductible by checking the IRS website at Tax Exempt Organization Search
- Read the Charities Bureau’s tips on charitable giving.
- Find the results of a charities’ fundraising campaigns in the Charities Bureau’s annual report Pennies for Charity.
- Check the Federal Trade Commission’s website for additional guidance.
ICFAW was spear-headed by the Charities Commission for England & Wales, which for many years hosted its own Charity Fraud Awareness Week. The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, the New Zealand Charities Service, and the Office of the Scottish Regulator as well as are also joining in the international outreach effort.
For more information about New York charities, members of the public should contact the Charities Bureau at firstname.lastname@example.org. Complaints about charities should be submitted using the Charities Bureau’s Complaint Form.