OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and the AARP are warning Oklahomans looking to donate money this holiday season to be aware of holiday scams.

Many people donate to charities around Christmas, and Pruitt says some criminals are ready to prey on Oklahomans trying to make the season brighter for those in need.

"Oklahomans are known for their generosity, and at this time of year even more so," said Pruitt. "While helping families in need, Oklahomans need to be sure they are cautious to avoid holiday and charity scams."

Seniors are prime targets for scam artists during the holidays. The Attorney General's Public Protection Unit and AARP offer the following tips to avoid becoming a victim of fraud:

  • Watch for high pressure tactics
  • Request information in writing
  • It is okay to hang up the phone, delete the text or e-mail message from an unknown solicitor
  • Don't give out personal information or credit card numbers to solicitors over the telephone or via e-mail
  • Be suspicious of "free gifts" or "prizes" in return for donations
  • Before making a donation, find out if the charity is registered in Oklahoma by contacting the Secretary of State at (405) 521-4211 or visit www.sos.ok.gov
  • Never let the solicitor write your donation check for you
  • If donating money, be sure to write checks payable only to the charity

For more information on giving wisely, visit http://www.oag.ok.gov/, http://www.aarp.org or http://www.charitywatch.org/.

To report suspected fraud or scams, contact the AG's Public Protection Unit at (405) 521-2029 and local law enforcement.