Grand Strand

South Carolina joining "Operation Donate with Honor" to fight fake veteran charities

MURRELLS INLET, SC (WBTW)- South Carolina's Secretary of State and Attorney General's office is teaming up with the federal trade commission to shut down fraudulent veteran's charitites.

This effort is part of a nationwide campaign called Donate with Honor.

The South Carolina Secretary of State and Attorney General's office said exploiting veterans in our state will not be tolerated, and local veterans aren't putting up with it either.

Larry Gross proudly served in the Navy for 8 years, and only had one word for those running fake veteran charities.

"Lowlife," said Gross.

Gross manages American legion post 178 in Murrells Inlet which is the largest in the state with close to 2,600 members. He said they keep their eyes and ears out for fraudulent charities.

"When we hear of one or know of one we can track down that we definitely know is a bad one. We get the word out to our members here," said Gross.

South Carolina is the top ten in the country when it comes to charitable giving. Operation Donate with Honor has taken action against more than a hundred charities, and 5 of those right here in South Carolina.

Feed our vets and heels for combat were both fined 2,000 dollars for not filing financial reports. South Carolina and 23 other states got VietNow shut down when they found out funds did not go to veterans.

"Vietnow was calling and promising treatment facilities, promising therapy, and other treatment services to veterans, and they did not even have a facility in that state and charged them with misrepresentation, said Secretary of State Mark Hammond.

Here are some tips to help you avoid being scammed:

If someone calls and asks you to make a charitable donation by wire transfer or prepaid card that is a red flag.

Ask questions, like how much of your money goes directly to the program.

Look up charity ratings on websites like https://www.charitywatch.org/home

"Robbers is what they are and I think it's terrible that they're doing it," said Gross.

The South Carolina Secretary of State said to check with their office to see if a charity is registered in the state and if you feel pressured by their solicitation call their office. 


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