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Help Sandy Victims, but Beware of Scams

Con artists are on the prowl.

 Law enforcement agencies and district attorney offices nationwide are warning people to beware of con artists soliciting donations to help aid the victims of Superstorm Sandy.

The culprits reach out to people claiming they are working for a community organization or well-known charities — either by phone, email or in person, according to the district attorney's office.

Some red flags to be aware of include a solicitor pressuring for a donation, asking for cash, offering to come to a home to pick up a check or being unable to explain how a donation will be used, prosecutors said.

Instead, the district attorney's office said to donate directly to an established major nonprofit such as the American Red Cross or Salvation Army.

When contacted by anyone asking for donations, do not give out any personal information and do not click on any links when solicited for money through emails.

In Marin County, anyone who might be the victim of a scam is asked to call the consumer protection unit of the district attorney's office at (415) 473-6450. The office's focus is to protect citizens from fraudulent or dishonest business practices.

--Bay City News Service

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