Every day thousands of Coloradans receive mail solicitations from fake or fraudulent charities from across the country. In an effort to raise awareness about charitable-mail fraud and to learn more about the fraudulent organizations contacting Coloradans every day, the Office of the Attorney General has joined with AARP ElderWatch, the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, and a plethora of community organizations, senior centers and law enforcement agencies to collect these mailings from consumers across the state.
The campaign will collect mail between June 1 and June 25. The mailings the Office of the Attorney General and AARP ElderWatch collect will be sorted through and surveyed following the end of the campaign. The mail not used for any enforcement action or investigation will be destroyed following the end of the campaign.
How to Participate
The mail sweep has easily accessible drop boxes located across the state. Consumers are encouraged to sift through their mail and drop off any fraudulent mail they have received at any one of the dozens of drop sites we have set up in partnership with local leaders and organizations across the state. The sites, open from June 1 through June 25, each has a clearly labeled box where consumers can deposit their mail. Click here to learn more about the locations of mail drop sites.
Consumers should not leave mail or other documents containing personal information or financial information in the boxes. Those types of documents should be shredded to prevent identity theft.
In the event that your community does not have a mail drop site nearby, you can send the fraudulent charity mailings you have received to:
The Colorado Attorney General’s Office
Attn: Mail Fraud Sweep
1525 Sherman St., Room 731
Denver, CO 80203
Mailing Warning Signs
Consumers who receive suspicion mail during or after the campaign should take the following steps when they receive questionable charitable mailings:
- Research the charity’s disclosure and financial statements by visiting CheckTheCharity.com. This site, set up by the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and the Colorado Nonprofit Association is a great resource to learn more about the organizations asking for your donation. If the company contacting you is not listed, that should raise a red flag.
- Watch out for charities with names that sound similar or nearly by not quite identical to well-known organizations. Often scammers will use well-known names as a way to get their foot the door and convince you to cut them a check.
- Contact a charity directly if you have any questions or want to know where your donation will go and how it will be used. If a charity cannot answer these basic questions or does not provide you with a way to contact them, they might be a scam.
- Most well-known charities will never solicit donations over the phone or send a courier to retrieve your check.
AARP ElderWatch has compiled this pamphlet on how to remove yourself from mailing lists if you are receiving fraudulent mailings or other unwanted mail.