Laxalt Investigates Sham Websites Exploiting Shooting Victims

LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt announced that his office has started diligently investigating reports of sham charities purportedly collecting donations on behalf of the victims of the deadly Oct. 1 Las Vegas Strip shootings.

Laxalt said his office was working with GoFundMe to pursue reports of fraudulent donation sites. Since receiving complaints from local consumers, Laxalt’s office successfully shut down a sham Facebook page with the help of employees at the social media company. His office is also currently pursuing other complaints against other false websites, Laxalt said.

“There continue to be sham charities and websites seeking to profit from this horrific tragedy,” said Laxalt. “Complaints from local consumers continue to be the best source of information for our Bureau of Consumer Protection in investigating claims of misrepresentation,” Laxalt said.

To make sure your donation goes to benefit the victims and families of the Las Vegas shooting, no matter the platform you choose to use, the Office of the Nevada Attorney General offers the following suggestions:

*Avoid any charity or fundraiser that asks for donations in cash or via wire transfer. Those that are unable to provide detailed information about their mission or organization and how donations will be used are suspect.

*Ask for detailed information about the charity, including name, address and telephone number. Then, do some online searches of the charity’s name in combination with the words “complaint” or “scam” to learn about its reputation. Using online resources offered by the Better Business Bureau can also provide assurances about the trustworthiness of any particular charity.

*Review the charity’s financial information or its Form 990. for information on the Form 990, visit the Nevada Secretary of State website. If a charity claims to use your donations to help the local community, contact the local agency and confirm whether the agency is familiar with the charity and receives financial support from it.

*Don’t feel pressured into making an immediate donation by telephone or in person. The need for donations and the opportunity to give will be present for some time, and legitimate charities will not pressure you into making an immediate donation.

*Avoid making checks payable to individuals. Also, avoid providing credit card, bank account or social security number information over the phone.

Nevada consumers can file complaints regarding fraudulent charities with the Nevada Attorney General’s office. Consumers may also file complaints with the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Family Assistance Center located at 3150 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, Nevada, inside the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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