RALEIGH – North Carolina’s Secretary of State office is warning people to be wary of possible charity scams as Hurricane Dorian approaches the state. To help consumers, her office is offering a “Smart Donor Checklist” that can be downloaded from its website to offer tips and guidance.

The information is available at this site: www.sosnc.gov/divisions/charities 

The site also includes charities that are registered with the Charitable Solicitation Licensing Division.

NC Secretary of State Elaine Marshall’s office also recommends that consumers check out the Charity Navigator website for information about “established charities.”

Other tips:

  • Be wary of high pressure solicitations on social media, or through texts and emails.
  • Give to established charities that have resources on the ground in the affected regions.
  • Look out for sound-alike names mimicking the names of established charities.
  • If you get an unsolicited call, text or email from an organization – don’t just click on the links provided. Research the organization yourself online and make your donation on the charity’s official site.

The North Carolina Department of Information Technology issued a similar warning.

Watch out for cybercrime, social media scams during hurricane, NC warns

Also available is a “Smart Donor Checklist.”

“As we begin to see the extent of the destruction in the Bahamas and brace for the storm’s impact here we all naturally want to reach out and help those affected, but please remember that scam artists will try to use our generosity against us. I want North Carolinians to give generously to relief efforts, so follow these tips to make sure your generosity is getting to those who need it,” Marshall said.

Marshall’s office is also asking consumers to report solicitations that could be fake.

“If you believe that you have been contacted by a fake charity, take a screen shot of the solicitation or write down the information you remember from the call as soon as possible and immediately contact the Secretary of State’s Office or local authorities.,” the department said.

The Charitable Solicitation Licensing Division at 1-888-830-4989

Complaints can also be filed online.