Oregon Department of Justice

Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum

Oregon Department of Justice - Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum
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OREGON AND FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION ANNOUNCE CRACKDOWN ON DECEPTIVE CHARITIES

May 20, 2009

The settlement with Secure the Call is part of a nationwide crackdown on fraudulent charities that claim to help police, firefighters and veterans

Attorney General John Kroger today joined the Federal Trade Commission and other states in Operation False Charity, a nationwide crackdown on fraudulent fundraisers, non-profits and individual solicitors who claim to help firefighters, police and veterans.

"Oregonians who want to help charities must be confident that their money goes to help those in need," said Attorney General Kroger. "If non-profit organizations engage in illegal or deceptive practices we will hold them accountable."

Kroger announced a settlement with Secure the Call, a Maryland-based company that claimed to be associated with local law enforcement and asked people to donate cell phones for domestic violence victims. Secure the Call can no longer operate in Oregon under the settlement reached with the Department of Justice.

Secure the Call allegedly misrepresented its non-profit status while soliciting cell phone donations by fax and drop boxes in supermarkets. An investigation by the Department of Justice found no evidence that Secure the Call was associated with any local law enforcement agencies or that the cell phones ever reached domestic violence victims.

Oregon is also one of at least 34 states to enter into a settlement with Community Support Inc. (CSI), a Wisconsin-based telemarketer that allegedly received no less than 83 percent of the donations it solicited on behalf of more than 35 charities nationwide.

CSI telemarketers allegedly falsely claimed to be police or veterans, misrepresented how much money went to charities and harassed potential contributors.

Under the settlement, CSI is enjoined from such unlawful activities and faces a minimum $10,000 penalty for each and every violation of state charitable solicitation laws.

The Department of Justice encourages donors to make informed giving decision and to contact the Charitable Activities Section if they receive suspicious solicitations. In connection with this joint enforcement effort, the FTC has published educational materials for donors on its web site.

Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department's mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.

Contact:

Tony Green, (503) 378-6002 tony.green@doj.state.or.us |
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