Scammers target donors helping Gatlinburg wildfire victims

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Scammers target donors helping Gatlinburg wildfire victims
Image Credit: Brian Blanco / Getty Images
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Scam artists are preying on the kindness of people who are donating to relief efforts for residents affected by wildfires in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Read more: How to run a background check on that charity

How to avoid scammers when donating to Tennessee wildfire relief

The Tennessee secretary of state has a warning for good Samaritans.

‘Do not be pressured into giving cash donations to people that you don’t know. Unfortunately, during disasters there are scam artists who prey on our generosity,” Secretary of State, Tre Hargett, said in a news release.

More than 26,000 fundraising campaigns near Gatlinburg, Tennessee, are listed on GoFundMe. A Tennessee T-shirtcompany heard complaints from customers that an imposter on social media was trying to sell its shirts, according to WATE.

The Red Cross, the Humane Society, United Way and local aid organizations are among the groups helping. Donors can also check a charitable organization’s legitimacy through a searchable database.

Still unsure? Call the Tennessee secretary of state Division of Charitable Solicitations at 615-741-2555 or 1-800-861-7393.

Read more: Clark’s Charity Donation Guide

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