BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The office of Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh advises consumers to wisely pay attention to where they are donating money for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

The Maryland attorney general says incidents like Hurricane Harvey in Texas introduces opportunities for scammers to prey on victims willing to donate to the cause.

“Sometimes at the end of a storm, you get a rainbow; other times you get a scammer,” said Attorney General Frosh. “It is wise to research the charity first before donating, and consumers should avoid any charity or fundraiser that is reluctant to give information on how donations are used.”

The Office of the Secretary of State registers and regulates charitable organizations that solicit charitable contributions in Maryland. Together with the Attorney General’s Office, the Secretary of State’s Office works to ensure that charitable contributions go to qualified charitable organizations and are used for their intended purpose.

For more tips on how to give wisely, please visit the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Division publication Consumer’s Edge Charitable Giving Tips.

To find out whether a particular charity is authorized to solicit in Maryland, the Secretary of State’s Office maintains a public registry of charitable organizations authorized to solicit in Maryland.  For more information and to search the registry, please visit the Secretary of State’s charity home page: http://sos.maryland.gov/Charity/Pages/SearchCharity.aspx.

If you feel like you may have been a victim of a deceptive or illegal charitable solicitation, you should contact the Charities and Legal Services Division of the Secretary of State’s Office at 410-974-5521 or 1-800-825-4510.

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