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Pam Bondi warns Floridians not to fall for Nepal earthquake relief charity scams

Florida's attorney general reminds residents to verify that charities are legitimate

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Florida's attorney general is warning residents not to fall for any Nepal earthquake charity scams.

Pam Bondi said her weekly email Friday that "scammers will use any opportunity to prey on the good intentions of generous Floridians to steal donations." That's why she is reminding residents, in the wake of the April 25 earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people, to verify that the charities accepting donations are legitimate.

"If solicited to donate over the phone or online, ask the organization to send a pledge form and information through the mail," Bondi said. "Also, be leery of solicitors using names similar to those of well-known charities."

Bondi said charities are required to register with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and report a breakdown of their finances. She also said most tax-exempt organizations are required to file annual returns with the Internal Revenue Service.

Florida's top prosecutor said she was proud of all the Floridians helping with the relief efforts.

She asked anyone who suspects a charity isn't what it appears to be to contact her office.

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