Illinois AG Warns Donors of Potential Scams Related to Highland Park Mass Shooting | Chicago News

FBI investigators examine the scene in downtown Highland Park on July 5, 2022, a day after a mass shooting during the July 4 parade. (WTTW News)

Fundraisers for victims of last week’s mass shooting in Highland Park have collectively raised millions of dollars, but state officials are warning those seeking help to beware of possible scams aimed at to steal your donations.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul on Wednesday urged potential donors and surviving victims to exercise caution and be vigilant about scams related to the July 4 shooting that left seven dead and dozens injured .

“As victims of violent crime – including those affected by the horrific shooting at Highland Park – attempt to recover from trauma, they shouldn’t have to sort through misinformation or potential scams related to programs that can provide assistance when needed,” Raoul said in a statement. “I remind all Illinois residents to exercise caution and use the free information and resources available through the Attorney General’s Office to avoid being defrauded by those seeking to profit from the ongoing gun violence. in too many of our communities.”

Raoul’s office said it was made aware of reports from Highland Park survivors who were contacted by potential scammers providing inaccurate information about state assistance available to victims of crime through the program’s own. AG’s Crime Victims Compensation Program, which provides financial reimbursement to certain victims of violence. crimes.

The scammers misrepresented the program’s eligibility requirements and covered expenses, Raoul said. Those who receive a call from someone claiming to be from the program should verify that the call is from the GA office.

Anyone who wants additional information about this program or to report a suspicious call about it can contact the Attorney General’s Victims of Crime Hotline at 800-288-3368.

Raoul’s office also provided a list of tips for those considering donating to ensure their funds go to reputable organizations:

• Ask how much of your donation will go to the charity and how much will be used to pay fundraising costs.

• Pay attention to the name of the charity, as some fraudulent claimants may use names that sound or resemble those of legitimate organizations.

• Ask questions about the charity and donate only when you have answered your questions.

• Exercise caution when donating online.

• Do not pay in cash, but use checks instead, both for security and tax reasons.

• Ask for written information. A legitimate charity will provide information describing its mission, how your donation will be distributed, and proof that your contribution is tax deductible.

• Do not donate to anyone who relies on “high pressure” tactics.

Prospective donors can call the AG’s Charitable Trust Bureau to report suspicious solicitations by dialing 312-814-2595. Additionally, a list of approved GoFundMe campaigns supporting Highland Park victims and their families is available here.

Contact Matt Masterson: @ByMattMasterson | [email protected] | (773) 509-5431

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