Colorado secretary of state warns of fraudulent COVID-19 ‘charities’


DENVER — Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold has warned Coloradans to be on the alert for fraudulent charities seeking to make money on the COVID-19 virus disaster.

“The COVID-19 public health crisis is tremendously impacting all of Colorado,” Griswold said in a prepared statement. “Unfortunately, in times of crisis like this, we’ve seen scams looking to exploit Coloradans’ generosity. I encourage Coloradans to continue to give to those in need, but do so wisely by making sure their donations are going to the right place.”

The Secretary of State’s Office recommends:

  • Confirm the organization is registered and current at
  • Ask if the caller is a paid solicitor, and if so, ask for the caller’s name and the name of the company. Paid solicitor registration numbers and the percent of donation made that will go to charity can be verified through the Colorado Secretary of State database. If they refuse to provide information, do not donate.
  • Be on alert for newly formed charitable organizations. This is not to say that new organizations are not legitimate, but proceed with caution during this time.
  • Make a note of the representations made regarding intentions.
  • Watch out for charities with names that sound similar to well-known, reputable organizations. Sometimes these sound-alike names are simply intended to confuse donors.
  • Do not assume that charity recommendations on Facebook, blogs or other social media have already been vetted.
  • Be wary if a charity fails to provide detailed information about its identity, mission, and finances and how the donation will be used. Reputable charities will gladly provide the information requested.
  • Do not pay in cash. Donate by check made payable to the charity or use the charity’s website to donate by credit card.

Complaints for fraudulent charity activity can be filed with the secretary of state or the attorney general.

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