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County of Sonoma California
Office of the District Attorney

For Immediate Release: April 12, 2012

Fraud Alert

Santa Rosa, CA (April 12, 2012) -Beware of possible scams involving individuals going door-to-door attempting to solicit money for charities.  These fraudsters may be requesting donations for made up charities and/or charities they are not actually affiliated with.

If anyone asks you for a donation on behalf of a charity, consider the following advice from the Federal Trade Commission:

  • Ask for the charity’s name, address, and phone number, and written information about its programs. A legitimate charity should have no problem with giving you this information.
  • Be wary of charities that spring up overnight in connection with current events or natural disasters.  They may make a compelling case for your money, but as a practical matter, they probably don’t have the infrastructure to get the donations to the affected areas or people.
  • Call the charity. Find out if the organization is aware of the solicitation and has authorized the use of its name. If not, you may be dealing with a scam artist.
  • Do not send or give cash donations. Cash can be lost or stolen.For security and tax record purposes, it’s best to pay by check — made payable to the charity, not the solicitor.
  • Reject high-pressure pitches. It’s okay to close the door or hang up the telephone.

To research a charity before making a decision to give, utilize the Charity Research Tool on the California Attorney General’s Charities Webpage at:  For more information on precautionary measures to take prior to donating, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Charitable Fraud Webpage:

To report suspected fraud, please contact your local police department or the Environmental and Consumer Law Division of the District Attorney’s Office at (707) 565-3161.


Contact Information

Terry Menshek
Media Coordinator
District Attorney’s Office
County of Sonoma
600 Administration Drive, Room 212 J
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
(707) 565-3098 Work
(707) 565-2762 Work Fax

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