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New York Attorney General Letitia James has warned people to be aware of fundraising scams in the wake of Sunday’s deadly apartment fire in the Bronx borough that killed 17 people, including eight children.

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Fire officials said a faulty electric space heater set the 19-story building on fire. The flames damaged only a small part of the building, but smoke blew through the apartment’s open door and turned the stairs into a dark, ash-filled death trap. To escape the fire, the only way to escape was the stairs in the very tall tower.

“In moments of tragedy, New Yorkers are quick to offer support, charity, and strength to those in need, but too often, individuals take advantage of that kindness,” James said in a statement, “As we seek to help those affected by the horrific fire in the Bronx yesterday, we must remain vigilant and ensure that victims receive every donation they desire. My heart is with the Bronx as we Let’s grieve, pray, and heal as a community.”

James outlines several tips for people to consider before donating:

check before giving

Donate to charities you are familiar with and review the information about the donation carefully before donating. Most charities are required to file and report financial reports with the Attorney General’s Charity Bureau if they solicit contributions from New Yorkers. For a charity’s financial reports, visit our website, charitiesnys.com, or ask the charity for its report directly.

related: How You Can Help Victims of the Bronx Fatal Apartment Fire

Ask how your donation will be used

Find out how the charity plans to use your donation, which will include the services and individuals supporting your charity. Find out more than just the reason. Find out which organization or organization will receive funding and what programs it runs or what services it provides.

Look carefully at newly formed organizations

Often, after tragedies, new organizations emerge to meet community needs. While most of these organizations are well-intentioned, and some may provide innovative forms of assistance, some may not have the experience or infrastructure to deliver on their promises, and some may be scams.

Requested by email? Find out who’s soliciting

If you receive a request by email, find out who is behind that email address. Contact the charity whose name is in the email or visit its website to see if the email is actually from the charity. Do not provide personal information or your credit card number in response to an email solicitation unless you have done a charity check.

related: Bronx fire: Photos show the magnitude of the deadly NYC apartment fire

Be careful when giving through social media or other fundraising sites

Before giving through these social media or fundraising sites, research the identity of the organizer of the fundraising effort and ask the same questions you would for a charity. Online platforms that host individuals soliciting groups and causes may not thoroughly scrutinize those who use their service. Donors should only give to campaigns run by people they know.

Payers should also check the site’s FAQ and terms and conditions to see what will be charged. Also, don’t assume that the charity recommended on social media sites, blogs or other websites has already been screened. Research the charity yourself to confirm that the charity knows about the campaign and has given its approved permission for the use of its name or logo. If available, sign up for updates from the campaign organizer to stay informed about how campaign contributions are being spent.

Take precautions before texting a contribution

Check the charity’s website or call the charity to confirm that it has authorization to contribute via text message.

don’t give cash

Give directly to charity, either by check payable to the organization or through the charity’s website.

Be careful about personal information

Be cautious when giving credit card or personal information over the phone, text message, or via the Internet. In all cases, make sure you are familiar with the organization to which you provide such information and check to see if the fundraising campaign is legitimate.

related: Fire in NYC apartment: Pope mourns

Report suspicious organizations

If you believe an organization is misrepresenting its work, or that there is a fundraising or charitable scam, please contact the Charity Bureau at [email protected]

Tips for avoiding FBI fundraising scams

the fbi is Giving additional suggestions To avoid charitable scams:

  • Be on the lookout for similar names or names from reputed organizations with the name copycat.
  • Be wary of new organizations that claim to help victims of recent high-profile disasters.
  • do your research. Use Federal Trade Commission Resources To check the track record of a charity.
  • Practice good cyber hygiene: Don’t click on links from strangers or open email attachments. Type manually instead of clicking on links. Do not provide any personal information in response to emails, robocalls or robottexts. Check Website Address—Most legitimate charitable organization websites use .org, not .com.
  • Do not click on links from unknown persons or open email attachments.
  • Type manually instead of clicking on links.
  • Do not provide any personal information in response to emails, robocalls or robottexts.
  • Check Website Address—Most legitimate charitable organization websites use .org, not .com.
  • After a natural disaster or other emergency, check carefully before hiring any contractor to work on your home or business.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.