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State and federal law enforcement officials are warning consumers to be wary of scams targeting donors to Haiti earthquake relief efforts.

“Unfortunately, scam artists will use this tragedy as an opportunity to take advantage of the generosity of Kansans,” Kansas Attorney General Steve Six said in a statement. “Taking some extra time to verify the authenticity of the charitable organization will ensure that your contributions are aiding in disaster relief rather than lining a scammer’s pocket.”

Some recommendations:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions or get more information, including asking how your donation will be used, what percentage will go to the charity and whether it’s tax deductible.
  • Go to the charity’s Web site or request information in writing.
  • Contact your local Better Business Bureau to see whether there are any complaints about the charity or search for the charity online.
  • Check whether the charity is registered with the Kansas Secretary of State’s office.

Six's office asks people who believe they have been solicited from a fraudulent charity to file a consumer complaint with them by visiting www.ksag.org or by calling 800-432-2310.

The FBI also reminds consumers to be skeptical of unsolicited e-mails, and not to click on links or attachments in those messages, including those purporting to be of pictures of the disaster.

E-mail scams or other incidents can be reported through the federal government’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov.