RELEASE: **Beware of Fraudulent Tornado Charities**

Jackson, MS—The Secretary of State’s Office encourages Mississippians to be mindful when donating to disaster relief organizations in the wake of the recent storm activity.

“Mississippians are at their best when someone is in need,” says Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. “But making sure your donations are actually used to help your neighbors is just as important as the donation itself.”

Following the recent damage by tornadoes and severe storms across the State, many people and organizations are providing assistance in the wake of the storm.

“While most of these organizations are legitimate, there may be unscrupulous groups which unfortunately surface during these trying times,” says Secretary Hosemann. “There are many 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 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.