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Authorities warn of potential scams stemming from Uvalde tragedy

BTU Scam Alert
Posted at 7:17 PM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 20:17:59-04

COPPERAS COVE, Texas — The Copperas Cove Police Department released a statement on behalf of Attorney General Ken Paxton to beware of scams and frauds tied to the Uvalde tragedy on Tuesday.

Authorities stated that while Texans have come together through the shared grief to comfort and aid fellow neighbors by donating blood and the like, individuals with ill intentions are attempting to take advantage of the current state of vulnerability to exploit and scam.

Attorney General Paxton warned potential and plotting fraudsters and scammers that the Office of the Texas Attorney General will not tolerate their behavior against benevolent Texans.

Texans were also warned to be wary of suspicious or questionable charities and to always take steps to ensure the legitimacy of an organization or cause.

Authorities provided some advice to avoid being susceptible to scams, including not to wire money or confirm financial or personal information- such as bank accounts, credit cards, or Social Security numbers.

Police provided the names of multiple platforms that ensure the authenticity of causes or fundraisers.

Guidestar was listed as a non-profit that gathers data on various IRS-recognized non-profits. GoFundMe is a fundraising platform that has a policy on banning fraudsters from use.

CharityWatch, formerly named The American Institute of Philanthropy, is a watchdog group for charities to assist donors in making sound and informed decisions.

Police also warned Texans to not trust names or phone numbers which are often faked to hide the true identity of scammers and their area code.

Those who do not want to receive unsolicited calls can register their phone number on the Texas Do Not Call Registry website or by calling toll-free at 888-309-0600. Phone numbers can also be listed on the National Do Not Call Registry or by calling toll-free at 888-382-1222 (TTY 866-290-4236).

Those who suspect fraud occurring are urged to contact the Texas Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at 800-621-0508 or by completing an online complaint on their website.