Utah warns donors to verify veteran charities

Memorial Day

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The state of Utah is warning people to be careful when donating to groups claiming to support veterans.

Officials say most groups are legitimate and do important work, but every year a few fraudsters attract donations by lying about help and support they don’t actually deliver.

Fraud schemes can come online, through telemarketing, direct mail, door-to-door contacts or at retail stores. Some promise to help homeless or disabled veterans while others say they help with housing mental health counseling, care packages or employment.

Utah Division of Consumer Affairs Executive Director Francine Giani is urging people to research groups soliciting donations. She says a video on the agency website has tips for verifying that groups are reputable.

The statement is part of a national push dubbed Operation Donate with Honor.

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