ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – Attorney General Ken Paxton is warning Texans to be aware of scammers amid the Uvalde tragedy.
Texans have come together in the wake of the tragic killings at Robb Elementary, to comfort and aid one another in this time of unspeakable grief. Texans are giving blood, and anxious to do whatever they can to alleviate the suffering. Unfortunately, there are some individuals who may try to take advantage of tragedy to perpetrate scams. We caution all charitable givers to be aware and informed, and we warn any would-be scammers that the Texas Attorney General will not tolerate anyone taking advantage of the goodwill and large-heartedness of our fellow Texans.
Texans who wish to give money or services to assist their fellow Texans impacted by the Uvalde tragedy should take steps to ensure that their charitable dollars are going to the intended recipients and to legitimate causes.
Follow the below best practices to avoid scams:
- Do not wire money or confirm financial or personal information, including bank account, credit card, or Social Security numbers.
- Give through legitimate charitable funding platforms like GoFundMe that have committed to banning fraudsters.
- CharityWatch, formerly known as The American Institute of Philanthropy, is a charity watchdog group which helps donors make informed choices.
- Guidestar gathers data on millions of IRS-recognized non-profits.
- Do not trust a name or phone number. Scammers often use fake names and phone numbers to disguise their identity and area code.
- You can put your number on the Texas Do Not Call Registry (by visiting www.TexasNoCall.com or by calling toll-free at 1-888-309-0600) and the National Do Not Call Registry (by visiting www.donotcall.gov or by calling toll-free at 1-888-382-1222 (TTY 1-866-290-4236)).
Report suspected fraud to the Texas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling toll-free 1-800-621-0508 or by filing an online complaint at https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/consumer-protection/file-consumer-complaint.