Horne: Watch out for charity scams claiming to benefit fallen officer, firefighter

PHOENIX - Many Arizona residents have shown their support for the families of a Phoenix firefighter and a police officer killed last week, but some people are looking to take advantage of that with charity scams, according to Attorney General Tom Horne.

Horne said his office has been alerted to possible charity scammers already trying to take advantage of the deaths of Phoenix police officer Daryl Raetz and Phoenix firefighter Bradley Harper.

"I am always saddened to see these kinds of scams appear… my office will do all it can to warn consumers and prosecute anyone caught operating caught operating a charitable scam," Horne said.

The Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona website has information on how to contribute to the Harper family, and the 100 Club of Arizona has information on how to contribute to Raetz's family.

Here are some tips for giving to charitable organizations:

- Be skeptical of anyone asking for a donation by requesting your credit card number or bank account information over the phone unless you already donate to that charity.. 

- Make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf to ensure contributions are received and used for the intended purpose.

- Don't be shy about asking what percentage of your donation will go directly to the charity versus administrative costs.

- Do not pay bills or invoices you have received from charities unless you know you have already made a commitment to support them.

- Remember to ask for a receipt and statement that the contribution is tax deductible.

- Call the Secretary of State's Office at 602-542-4285 or visit its website to make sure the charity is registered.

You can look up any charitable entity at Charity Navigator.

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