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Nov. 16—AUGUSTA — As Mainers continue the long recovery after the horrific Oct. 25 mass shooting in Lewiston, Attorney General Aaron Frey is warning residents to use caution when choosing where to send their money and donations.
"Mainers are generous people and when tragedy strikes, I know the noble urge to support victims and impacted communities is strong," Frey said. "At the same time, we know that scammers take advantage of people's generosity and want to remind the public to make sure you know where your donation is going."
After a shooting that left 18 dead in two Lewiston businesses Oct. 25, several fundraiser pages have appeared to help the victims and their families to recover from the emotional trauma and financial strains. The Attorney General's Office stressed that all such fundraisers should be properly vetted and offered some tips to help people do so.
Before donating, donors are urged to keep the following tips in mind:
— Do not give cash.
— Never give out a credit card number over the phone.
— Do not give in to pressure to give money on the spot or allow a "runner" to pick up a contribution. The charity that needs your money today will welcome it just as much tomorrow.
— Always request literature from phone solicitors. If they want your pledge first, hang up or ask for a number so you can call them back.
— Before donating, check out the charitable organization on databases from Council of Better Business Bureaus' Wise Giving Alliance (www.give.org), Charity — — — Watch (www.charitywatch.org) or Charity Navigator (www.charitynavigator) to vet charities.
For more information about consumer rights in charitable solicitations, see the OAG's Consumer Law Guide at maine.gov
The Governor's Office has provided several vetted options for donations at maine.gov/governor/mills/lewiston
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