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Wyman urges Washingtonians to GiveSmart


November 28, 2018

In a season in which the spirit of generous giving is high, it is unfortunately common for scammers to take advantage of Washingtonians’ charitable nature. To ensure that all donations are going to help worthy causes, Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman is alerting state residents to the dangers of holiday charity fraud with a GiveSmart promotion of charitable awareness.

“As generous and well-meaning as Washingtonians are, it’s possible for scammers to use fake names and other deceptions to try and steal donations intended to help the less fortunate,” Wyman said. “GiveSmart provides information to consumers so they are armed with information to outsmart the scammers.”

Wyman recommends taking these GiveSmart steps before making a first donation to a charity:

• Don’t give in to high-pressure solicitations demanding an instant commitment.

• Do research before giving by checking the Secretary of State’s charity registration database.

• If an organization is registered, take time to review its annual registration, including federal tax-exempt status and financial information.

• If the organization is unregistered, contact the SOS Charities Program at 1-800-332-4483 to learn why or get other information.

• Check the charity’s Better Business Bureau rating.

• More resources are available at

• If a third party is raising money for a charity, call the charity directly to make sure it has authorized the paid solicitor to collect donations on its behalf.

Washingtonians who encounter a suspicious charity or commercial fundraiser can file a complaint at the Attorney General’s website.

Washington’s Office of Secretary of State oversees a number of areas within state government, including managing state elections, registering corporations and charities, and governing the use of the state flag and state seal. The office also manages the State Archives and the State Library, documents extraordinary stories in Washington’s history through Legacy Washington, oversees the Combined Fund Drive for charitable giving by state employees, and administers the state’s Address Confidentiality Program to help protect survivors of crime.


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