The New York State Department of State's Division of Consumer Protection is warning consumers to research any charitable requests prior to making a donation. Scammers rely on individuals to make decisions with their heart instead of their head and are currently trying to defraud the public using the recent Ebola outbreak. As public concern grows, scammers are looking to profit from these fears. These scammers claim to be taking collections for victims’ families or medical charities who are fighting Ebola when in actuality, they are just taking donations for their own personal gain.
In addition, it is imperative that consumers understand that treatments for the disease are in extremely short supply and are not available for purchase online or in stores. Scammers may contact you and try to sell you products that allegedly cure or prevent Ebola infections. These items do not do what they are touted to do, as there are currently NO approved vaccines or drugs for Ebola on the market.
Scammers may contact you online, though the phone (home and mobile), through direct mail, or through door to door solicitations.
The New York State Division of Consumer Protection strongly recommends that consumers take note of the following tips to avoid being affected by fraudulent charities:
For more information regarding scam prevention and mitigation, please contact the New York Department of State, Division of Consumer Protection at (518)-474-8583.