BOISE, Idaho – Idaho is cracking down on fraudulent charities that target veterans and service members.

The Gem State will now participate in “Operation Donate with Honor,” says Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, who made the announcement today. The program is a federal and multistate crackdown on fraudulent organizations that claim to benefit veterans and service members.

Wasden said in a press release that so far, the project includes more than 100 actions against charities, fundraisers and individuals.

“My office is pleased to join with so many other charity regulators in combatting charity fraud,” Wasden said. “Idaho will not tolerate anyone trying to take advantage of our American heroes or defrauding those wanting to support them.”

As part of the enforcement sweep, some settlements have already been reached.

Wasden says there are several things potential donors can do to make sure their contributions actually benefit service members and veterans, including:

  • Ask for the charity’s name, website, and physical location
  • Ask how much of any donation will go to the charitable program
  • Search the charity’s name online with the word “scam” or “complaint”
  • Check out the charity’s ratings at the Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Watch or Charity Navigator
  • Never pay with cash, a gift card or by wiring money; and
  • Consider paying by credit card, which is the safest option for security and tax purposes.

Complaints regarding deceptive charitable solicitations can be filed with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division or by calling 208-334-2424. Donors and business owners can also find information to help them donate wisely and make their donations count at FTC.gov/Charity.

“When deciding whether to donate, don’t rely on a sympathetic sounding name to make a donation,” Wasden said. “A little homework will help ensure your donation goes to a legitimate organization that’s doing good work.”