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Okla. lawmaker warns of fraudulent charities, contractors

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OKLAHOMA CITY- While thousands of storm victims are working to rebuild, state lawmakers are warning some of those affected about becoming victims of fraud.

Oklahoma Rep. Mark McBride is encouraging anyone who believes they may be the victim of fraud to contact the Attorney General’s Office of Public Protection.

“Unfortunately, there have been many reports of fraudulent collection of money and goods in our state that is allegedly collected for disaster relief for the storms in May,” said McBride. “It is shameful that people concoct schemes to take advantage of the kindness of Oklahomans but, unfortunately, this is the world we live in. We want to make sure people know how to avoid being victims and who to contact if they are.”

Citizens should be ready to ask questions and investigate any person or organization who attempts to solicit donations from them.

“Ask them questions about where or to whom the money or goods will go or if they have a website or identification card,” said McBride. “You can also research organizations online. Legitimate non-profits will have a federal 990 form that they file with the IRS.”

McBride says there are many legitimate organizations that are collecting donations and with a little research, it shouldn’t be too hard to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate organizations.

If you feel you have been scammed, call the Attorney General’s office at (405) 521-2029.