W.Va. Attorney General, Secretary of State kick off International Charity Fraud Awareness Week

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Secretary of State Mac Warner and a host of domestic and international partners kicked off International Charity Fraud Awareness Week Monday.
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WDTV)-- West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Secretary of State Mac Warner and a host of domestic and international partners kicked off International Charity Fraud Awareness Week Monday.

According to a press release from the Attorney General's office, the international effort offers tips for wise giving with the hope of helping charities and consumers avoid charity fraud. This year's initiative, which runs through Friday, also features cyber-security and data security tips for nonprofit organizations.

“Charitable giving is a wonderful way to support many worthy causes,” Morrisey said. “However, failing to protect information can lead to identity theft and financial fraud, so it’s important to consider the tips offered by this week’s joint awareness initiative.”

The Attorney General and Secretary of State launched International Charity Fraud Awareness Week with an event Monday morning in Charleston, according to the press release. They were joined by three in-state partners – the West Virginia Nonprofit Association, Philanthropy West Virginia and AARP West Virginia.

“Charity Fraud Awareness Week is an annual opportunity for us to focus everyone’s attention on the tremendous and positive impact charitable giving has on West Virginia,” Secretary Warner said. “It’s important that we all work together to make sure that donations made by our citizens are made to legitimate and properly registered charities. I am pleased to work with the Attorney General, AARP and leaders of our non-profit business community to keep charity scams out of West Virginia.”

The press release says those concerned about legitimacy of a specific charity or organization should confirm it's registered to solicit donations in West Virginia. the information can be found through the Secretary of State's office.

The Attorney General and Secretary of State are participating with the National Association of State Charities Officials, the Federal Trade Commission and other U.S. partners, in addition to the Charities Commission for England & Wales, Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, New Zealand Charities Service, and the Office of the Scottish Regulator among other non-governmental participants, the press release says.

Any resident solicited to donate to a charity that they think may be fraudulent can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239 or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.