Members of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department are urging residents to be on the lookout for fake charity scams. Some criminals have begun to set up fake websites indicating they are donating proceeds to help cover medical expenses for bombing victims. Others are being set up saying their focus is helping families impacted by the Texas fertilizer plant explosion.
The IRS has also put out a warning, saying that in the wake of tragedy, con artists will often set up shop. They impersonate charities with the intention of stealing money from people who are trying to help. Many of these fraudulent schemes are initiated by phone or email solicitation. Some use social media and others will go door to door.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department is warning residents to not provide personal information via email. They are also urging citizens to refrain from clicking through to links provided by unknown email senders. Many of these links contain viruses. Those wishing to make charitable donations are asked to do so with a well known, reputable organization. The Red Cross, One Fund Boston and the New England Patriots are examples of reputable non-profits, they said. If the solicitor is reportedly calling on behalf of an organization that seems to have come out of nowhere, this is a big red flag.