AG Weiser: ‘Stay nervous, stay skeptical’ to avoid Boulder relief scams

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BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — Several Coloradans are hoping to support the families of the shooting that left 10 people dead earlier this week.

If you plan on donating – state officials are reminding you to watch out for organizations that might end up taking your money for the wrong reasons. Governor Jared Polis highlighted legitimate organizations that are coordinating donation efforts.

One trustworthy choice is Community Foundation Boulder County, which has successfully helped those coping with COVID-19 and the recent wildfire relief effort.    

CEO Tatiana Hernandez says the immediate mission is to work with community partners to help people who are struggling with the aftermath of the shooting

“(We help them) to get through what is an incredibly difficult week for our community and something that will be a difficult time for all of us,” said Hernandez.

Donations can support organizations that provide counseling and financial support for those who have lost loved ones.

Unfortunately, tragedies also draw scammers hoping to cash in on the pain and anguish that the survivors and victim’s families are going through.

“You need to recognize that this is the basic impulse that scammers focus on – trying to take advantage of people when they are vulnerable either because they hope they can do something or maybe they’re afraid of something bad happening,” said Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser.

Weiser says it’s important to familiarize yourself with some of the red flags and tricks scammers use. For instance – beware of unsolicited offers to donate and high pressure tactics. They might even use the name of an organization that you can’t find online.

“Stay skeptical, stay nervous when someone reaches out to you by phone, on a social media post, or in an email,” Weiser said. “(If) you’re not sure what it is, be really cautious because it’s a good chance it’s a scam.”

In other cases they might work for an organization or group with high administrative costs – meaning a very small portion of your donation would go to those who need it if you ended up donating.

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