New York Attorney General Letitia James shared a statement warning state residents to be aware of fraudulent charities following the Buffalo mass shooting. James gave a list of action items for people who want to support the families of the victims and ensure the money goes to the right place, via the NY Office of the Attorney General.
Ten people were gunned down by Payton Gendron, 18, who entered the Tops Friendly Markets grocery store with military grade firearms. James told BET she understands New Yorkers want to come to the aid of the Buffalo community but she also wants them to be careful.
“I join the whole Buffalo community and the entire state of New York in mourning this senseless, hate-filled act of terror,” she said to BET.
More from James via the NY Office of the Attorney General:
“In the wake of tragedies, like the horrific shooting in Buffalo, scammers often take advantage of acts of kindness for personal gain,” said Attorney General James. “As New Yorkers from every corner of the state show their support and solidarity with the Buffalo community, I urge them to be careful of sham charities and make sure they give to trustworthy organizations and groups. I join the whole Buffalo community and the entire state of New York in mourning this senseless, hate-filled act of terror.”
A list of action items were attached to the statement along with instructions of how to follow each with caution:
- Check before giving
- Ask how your donation will be used
- Look into newly formed organizations carefully
- Find out who is soliciting emails
- Be careful when giving through social media and fundraising sites
- Exercise caution before you text a contribution
- Don’t give cash
- Be careful about personal information
If anyone interested in donating believes an organization may be fraudulent, the attorney general’s office asks New York residents to contact the Charities Bureau at firstname.lastname@example.org.