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State officials warn of charity scams in wake of super-storm


MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) - State officials are warning people to be on the lookout for charity scams in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Division Administrator for Trade and Consumer Protection Sandy Chalmers says scammers will be using some familiar methods to get your money. “Be suspicious of unsolicited requests for donations to disaster relief.”

Chalmers says you shouldn't respond to unsolicited requests for donations, including emails or social media messages. Any donations you do make should be through trusted organizations, and though the correct channels.

If someone is asking you to make an immediate cash payment, or to use money transfers or gift cards to make those payments, they are trying to scam you.

If you receive a phone call from a charity, ask if the caller is a paid fundraiser, who they work for and what percentage of your donation goes to the charity. If you do not get a clear answer or if you don't like the answer that you do get, consider donating to another organization.

You can find more tips or a place to file a complaint on DATCP's website at datcp.wisconsin.gov; via e-mail at datcphotline@wisconsin.gov or call toll-free at 1-800-422-7128.