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Attorney General warns of Flint charity scams

Posted: 5:55 AM, Feb 23, 2016
Updated: 2016-02-23 14:56:12Z

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is warning residents of possible Flint charity scams amid the city's ongoing water crisis. 

Tuesday morning, Schuette cautioned people giving donations to FlintUnleaded.org and its owner Derek Jones.

The website is being flagged due to a "lack of transparency" in regards to how the donations are getting to Flint.

“The people of Flint must continue to be the focus of our efforts,” said Schuette in a press release. “Individuals who try and take advantage of the giving spirit of those attempting to help will not be tolerated and I will continue to be on alert for charitable scams relating to the Flint Water Crisis.”  

The AG is also warning residents to be extra vigilant when it comes to door-to-door solicitors. 

He offered these steps to help protect yourself: 

  • Be cautious of requests for donations by unfamiliar organizations or people.
  • Beware of unsolicited phone calls, and text and email appeals on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
  • Crowdfunding and other types of internet giving can be tools of tremendous good, but as with any type of giving it can be abused, so it's important to proceed with caution when donating online. A consumer alert with additional information and advice on crowdfunding is available on the Department of Attorney General website.
  • Continue to reach out and help Flint residents but be sure to choose established charitable organizations with a history of helping those in need. The Michigan charitable giving database can be searched at http://www.ag.state.mi.us/CharitableTrust/ .