Jackson, MS—Following the recent damage by Hurricane Isaac, many people and organizations have flocked to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to provide assistance in the wake of the storm. While most of these organizations are legitimate, there are those that are not.

“Nothing makes me prouder than the way Mississippians flock to help their neighbors,” says Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. “However, there are unscrupulous individuals who will take advantage of the kindness of others. Don’t become a victim. Check your charity with our Office before donating to make sure your charity is registered and your dollars are well spent.”

Some helpful tips:

· Any organization soliciting money in the State of Mississippi must be registered with the Secretary of State’s Office. Check to see if the organization is registered with the Secretary of State’s Office by visiting our website at www.sos.ms.gov or calling the Charities Division directly at (601) 359-1371.

· Ask the organization how long they have been in operation and how much of your donation goes directly in support of the charitable purpose. Ask for names and contact information.

· Report any suspicious solicitations to the Secretary of State’s Office immediately.

You may also view the Secretary of State’s Annual Report on Charities by clicking the following link: http://www.sos.ms.gov/links/sec_char/2011%20Charity%20Guide.pdf.