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Take an Extra Step When Charitable Solicitations Come In Over the Phone, Warn State Officials
12/27/2013 4:20 PM ET  

State officials urge residents to be cautious when making charitable donations this holiday season.

Department of Professional and Financial Regulation spokesman Doug Dunbar said Mainers should always check to make sure charities are legitimate before donating. He said people should never give money to someone over the phone through a credit card or debit card or by providing bank account information. And he said people who always request something in writing.

"To [have the caller] explain what the charity is all about and to give the contributor time to review everything and make sure that the organization is legitimate," said Dunbar.

Dunbar said his Department provides information about whether charities are properly registered in Maine, how much of the donation goes to the actual charity, complaints that have been lodged or disciplinary actions. He said the Department also has a way for people to file complaints.

Dunbar said there's an uptick in charitable giving complaints around holidays, the end of the year and following tragedies or natural disasters.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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