In the City of Good Neighbors, when something horrific happens, you want to help and provide aid as much as you can. Even if nothing can make the situation better, you still want to put forth the effort.

While many Western New Yorkers have donated to different charities in the area following the mass shooting at the Buffalo Tops on Jefferson Avenue, New York State Attorney General Letitia James is advising those who are compelled to donate be cautious about what charities they are supporting because many “fraudulent charities” were created after the shooting.

In a press release from the New York State Attorney General’s office, Attorney General Letitia James said, “In the wake of tragedies, like the horrific shooting in Buffalo, scammers often take advantage of acts of kindness for personal gain.”

“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.”

New York State Attorney General condemned the shooting at Tops in her press release as a “senseless, hate-filled act of terror.”

If you choose to donate to a charity, there are a few tips to note to make sure that it is a verifiable charity.

-   Check before giving; most charities are required to register at charitiesnys.com, so you can most likely find the charity on that list.

-   Donate to charities you are familiar with.

-   Ask how your donation will be used.

-   Look into newly-formed organizations carefully.

-   If you are solicited by email, check who is soliciting.

-   Be careful when giving through social media, fundraising sites.

-   Don’t give cash.

-   Be cautious when revealing personal information.

-   Be careful with text contributions.

If you donate to an organization that ends up being fraudulent, contact the Charities Bureau to report it at charities.complaints@ag.ny.gov. 

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