Oregonians urged to beware possibly charity scams as wildfires burn across state

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Oregonians are urged to beware possible charity scams as wildfires rage across the state, destroying homes and killing at last four people, according to authorities.

"The ongoing wildfires in Oregon are tragic and many are suffering,” Attorney General Rosenblum said. “Kind and generous Oregonians are stepping up to help out by making donations. Unfortunately, we know there are some bad actors out there who will try to prosper off any disaster.”

To make sure donation get to the right place and are used for their intended purpose, several Oregon charities have teamed to create the 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund. Oregonians are encouraged to give to that organization or to similar organizations they know are involved in relief efforts.

More: Coverage of wildfires

More information on how to give to the 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund is posted online here. If you are interested in other giving options, officials have provided the following tips

  1. Do your research.
  2. Only give to registered charities.
    • Before you give, check the Oregon Department of Justice database or call 971-673-1880 to confirm the organization is properly registered with the Oregon Department of Justice.
  3. Monetary donations are usually preferred.
    • Organizations can usually accomplish the most with financial donations. Managing and storing gifts of clothing, food, and household items can often strain limited resources. Before donating those kinds of supplies, check in with the organization to make sure they can make use of those donations. Monetary gifts are always appreciated.
  4. Be wary of telephone, email or door to door solicitations.
    • Some scam artists may take advantage of current circumstances by soliciting you in these ways. Resist high-pressure appeals for donations and don't send cash or respond to requests to purchase and send gift cards.
  5. Remember that not all gifts are tax-deductible.
    • Only gifts to charities that have IRS 501(c)(3) status are tax-deductible. Check the IRS website to ensure your gift is to a qualified organization. Make sure the charity provides written confirmation of your donation. Then keep your records. Gifts to individuals through GoFundMe and similar platforms are not tax-deductible.

View additional giving tips online at: https://www.doj.state.or.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/wise_giving_guide.pdf.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation.  All rights reserved.

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