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Beware of 'Sham Fire-Relief Charities,' Says State

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It seems to happen every disaster, so it's likely to happen this time around as well. "After virtually every disaster, scam artists come out of the woodwork to defraud individuals wishing to help victims," Attorney General Jerry Brown said in a statement. "Californians should give only to reputable organizations so their donations don't end up lining the pockets of criminals and opportunists." His office has two webpages dedicated to the issue: one for tips on charitable giving and another for submitting complaints if you believe you've been ripped off. In a press release, his office also offers these tips: