For Immediate Release
July 19, 2018
Thomas J. Donovan, Director of Charitable Trusts
Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald announces that New Hampshire is joining the Federal Trade Commission and charity regulators from every state in disclosing more than 100 enforcement actions against charities, fundraisers and individuals nationally, and a sweeping new donor education campaign in "Operation Donate with Honor". This effort is intended to crackdown against fraudulent charities that con consumers by falsely promising their donations will help veterans and service members.
Attorney General MacDonald stated, "New Hampshire citizens generously contribute to charities promising to deliver needed help to veterans and service members. The desire to give is understandable: grateful citizens recognize the enormous sacrifices made by those who serve in our armed services. The great majority of these charities live up to those promises. But, bad actors attract donations by lying about support not actually delivered. This kind of conduct harms not only well-meaning donors, but also the many legitimate charities engaged in vital work on behalf of veterans and service members."
The Attorney General's Office is committed to battling against fraudulent schemes involving veterans charities. The 100 actions announced today include the following:
The law enforcement actions announced today by the FTC and states showcase the many different ways that consumers are approached to donate. Charities and fundraisers sought donations online and via telemarketing, direct mail, door-to-door contacts, and at retail stores. The common theme was the false promise to help veterans, including false promises to help homeless and disabled veterans, to provide veterans with employment counseling, mental health counseling or other assistance, and to send care packages to deployed service members. Some actions charged veterans charities with using deceptive prize promotion solicitations. Others targeted non-charities that falsely claimed that donations would be tax deductible. Some cases focused on veterans charities engaged in flagrant self-dealing to benefit individuals running the charity, and some alleged that fundraisers made misrepresentations on behalf of veterans charities or stole money solicited for a veterans charity.
Operation Donate with Honor was developed by the FTC and the National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO), the association of state offices charged with oversight of charitable organizations and charitable solicitations in the United States. The initiative pairs enforcement actions with an education campaign to help consumers recognize charitable solicitation fraud and identify legitimate charities. This includes a new video that highlights tips on how to research charities on giving wisely to veterans organizations www.doj.nh.gov/multimedia/index.htm The national education campaign is intended to help potential donors, regardless of where or how they choose to donate, learn how to spot fraudulent and deceptive solicitations, and make sure their contributions actually benefit veterans and service members.
Attorney General MacDonald encourages potential donors, regardless of where or how they choose to donate, to learn how to spot fraudulent and deceptive solicitations, and make sure their contributions actually benefit veterans and service members.
Here are some tips:
To get further information or to report a potential charity scam, contact the Charitable Trusts Unit, firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-271-3591. You may also contact the FTC at www.ftc.gov/charity or 877-382-4357.
New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301