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Colorado Attorney General fights fraudulent charity mailings

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced last week that his office and AARP ElderWatch have partnered with nearly two-dozen local nonprofits, senior centers and law enforcement agencies to raise awareness across Colorado of fraudulent charity mailings.

“Every day Colorado consumers and seniors receive mailings from fraudulent charities and charitable solicitors. Not only do these mailings take money away from legitimate charities, but they also result in thousands of dollars of good-faith charitable contributions lining the pockets of scammers,” Suthers said. “By partnering with community organizations and law enforcement agencies from across the state, we will raise awareness of the dangers of fraudulent charity mailings and prevent future victims from sending checks to bad actors.”

“Mailings from fraudulent charities and other scam artists hit Colorado seniors the hardest,” AARP ElderWatch Director Amy Nofziger said. “Once a senior cuts one check, they often will find themselves deluged with mailings from other fraudulent organizations once the word gets out that they are vulnerable. Through this campaign, we are hoping to take a step toward breaking that cycle.”

The campaign will collect mail across the state until June 25. The Office of the Attorney General and AARP ElderWatch are partnering with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, the U.S. Postal Service and a series of community partners from across Colorado to collect fraudulent mailings. The mailings the Office of the Attorney General and AARP ElderWatch collect will be examined for potential fraud or violations of Colorado charitable solicitations Act. The mail and other submissions will be destroyed following the end of the campaign.

“Awareness is one of the most powerful tools consumers can harness to protect themselves from fraud,” Suthers said. “Colorado has one of the best-educated and most fraud-savvy populations in the country. This effort will only build on the strong fraud-awareness foundation we and our partners have laid.”

The Silver Foxes Senior Center, 451 Hot Springs Blvd. (in the Ross Aragon Community Center), will accept fraudulent mail from consumers.

Suthers encouraged seniors to check out the charities or charitable solicitors sending them mail via www.checkthecharity.com, a site Suthers partnered with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, the Colorado Nonprofit Association and Season to Share launched last year.

For more information on the campaign or mail fraud, visit www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov/mailsweep.