Be aware of scammers using Colorado wildfires to take from you

Tragedy brings out the best and the worst in humanity. The Colorado Secretary of State office wants us to inform you that charity scams are out there using the wildfires as bait. “Tragedy like this moves people to help,” says Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams said. “Unfortunately, we’ve also seen scams pop up in these situations. We want to encourage Coloradans in their philanthropic activity, but also help them avoid mistakes and make sure that donations get to the right place.”

Here are some tips to prevent getting ripped off.

- Ask for the caller’s registration number with the Secretary of State. You can confirm that the organization at checkthecharity.com

-Ask for their federal tax ID information

-Ask what portion of the contribution will be paid to the charity.

-Watch out for charities with names that sound like but aren't the same as well-known organizations.  

-Never click on links to charities on unfamiliar websites or reply to texts or emails.

-Beware of new or recently formed charitable organizations.

-Call the organization or charity and confirm the solicitation.

If you believe you are a victim or have been solicited by a fraudulent charity, please file a complaint with the Secretary of State at this number, 303-894-2200.

Currently, there are nearly a dozen wildfires that have scorched over 170,000 acres in Colorado. There are legit organizations that are helping those impacted. Help Colorado Now is a donation and information website created as a partnership with the Colorado Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management and Colorado Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. The Care And Share Food Bank is also helping local families. They help provide food for their partner agencies across Southern Colorado. By giving to either of these organizations you can be confident your donation will be helping Colorado families.

Credit: KKTV11News