Commissioner Putnam Joins National Effort to Protect Floridians from Fraudulent Veterans Charities
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam today announced that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has joined a nationwide partnership, spearheaded by the Federal Trade Commission, to help Americans identify and avoid fraudulent charities that claim to benefit veterans and servicemembers. The department joins the FTC, Attorney General Pam Bondi, and other law enforcement officials and regulators of charitable organizations throughout the country to support the “Operation Donate with Honor” initiative.
“The brave men and women who sacrifice so much to protect our freedom deserve all the support we can provide. It is deplorable to exploit our nation's heroes by scamming Floridians out of hard-earned money,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam.
Before donating to charitable organizations that claim to help veterans and servicemembers, Floridians should follow these simple tips:
Ask questions, such as: “Who is the fundraiser and who will benefit from the donation?”; “How much of the contribution goes to the charity mentioned in the request?”; and “How much of the donation goes toward administrative and fundraising expenses?”;
Check if the charitable organization is registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services by visiting FloridaConsumerHelp.com;
Research the charitable organization at FreshFromFlorida.com to see how much of a donation will go toward the individuals the charity intends to help versus operating expenses;
Report any suspicious charitable solicitations by calling 1-800-HELP-FLA (1-800-435-7352) or, for Spanish speakers, 1-800-FL-AYUDA (352-9832).