Secretary of State Reminds Tennesseans of Ways to Avoid Scams During Charity Fraud Awareness Week 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – This week, Oct. 17 to 21, is International Charity Fraud Awareness Week, and Secretary of State Tre Hargett is reminding Tennesseans of resources available from his office to help avoid scams.

“Unfortunately, there are scammers out there who set up fake organizations to take advantage of Tennesseans’ generosity,” said Secretary Hargett. “It’s important to ensure an organization is legitimate before making a donation and we have resources that can help.”

To help Tennesseans avoid charity fraud and maximize their donation’s impact, the Secretary of State’s Division of Business and Charitable Organizations created a Wise Giving Tips video on sos.tn.gov/charities.

The Wise Giving Tips are:

  • If a nonprofit asks you for a contribution, check to see if it’s registered with the State of Tennessee on the Secretary of State’s website sos.tn.gov/charities or by calling 615-741-2555.
  • Take your time. Resist pressure to give on the spot.
  • Ask questions. If an organization has a specific mission, ask how and who will benefit from your donation.
  • If you are asked for a donation via text or email, verify the request is directly from the charity or nonprofit.
  • Do your own research and don’t assume a social media or blog recommendation has been approved by the nonprofit.
  • If you give through an app or website, make sure your donation is going directly to the organization.
  • Avoid giving cash. Always ask for a receipt and if your contribution is tax deductible.
  • Pay close attention to the name of the nonprofit organization. There are many organizations with similar names.
  • Don’t forget there are many ways to give, such as volunteering your time.
  • If a paid fundraiser asks you for a donation, ask how much is kept by the fundraiser and how much goes to the nonprofit.

Any charity that raises over $50,000 a year must register with the State of Tennessee. To see if a charity is registered, visit sos.tn.gov/charities or call 615-741-2555. Please report any false, misleading or deceptive fundraising activity to the Division of Business and Charitable Organizations at 615-741-2555.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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