I received this today from Adam H. Putnam, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, and wanted to share. Our hearts go out to those affected in the most recent bombings in Boston and the explosion in West, Texas. Beware of those trying to take money for false purpose.
“I’m deeply saddened by the recent events in Boston, MA and West, TX. During tragedies like these, we feel compelled to help in any way we can and donating to charities is a good way to support the communities affected. There are many legitimate charities that are helping the ones in need; however, during times like these, scammers also take advantage of people who want to give donations.If you’re considering donating to a charity, please keep these tips in mind to assure that your money is going to those who need it most:
When solicited for a donation, always ask for the charity’s registration number (CH#), as well as the paid solicitor’s registration number, if applicable. Visit our online Gift Givers Guide to determine what percentage of donations go to administrative, fundraising and program expenses. Information is also available by phone at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352). All charities soliciting within the state of Florida, excluding religious, educational, political and governmental entities, are required to register and file financial information with the department.
Never give out your personal, financial or account information over the phone unless you initiated the call and the phone number is from a trusted source. Be sure to obtain a receipt or printed copy of your donation in order to have a record for tax reporting purposes. Even if an organization is tax exempt, your contribution may not be tax deductible. Ask for the charity’s tax–exempt number issued by the Internal Revenue Service and call them or go online for verification.
Do not let yourself be pressured into contributing on the spot. Reputable charities and organizations are just as willing to receive your donation tomorrow as today.”