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Home  Georgia  Charities & Giving

Investigate Before You Invest

A publication distributed by Barry Reid, Administrator of the Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs, Secretary of State Cathy Cox, and Attorney General Thurbert Baker;

Edited by



Dear Georgia Consumer,

A recent study by the Federal Trade Commission revealed that telemarketing scams rob consumers of $40 billion dollars annually. In Georgia alone, they cheat their victims out of more than $500 million dollars each year. With more than 75 percent of fraud occurring over the phone, every Georgian with a phone is potentially at risk of being victimized.

Charitable Solicitations

Charitable organizations that are not religious in nature and those paid to solicit charitable contributions must register with the Secretary of State in order to solicit contributions in Georgia.

If you are called, be sure to ask the caller for the following information:

  • The name of the charitable organization

  • What type of charitable work is being done

  • How your money would be spent

  • The address and telephone number of the organization and whether it is registered with the Secretary of State’s office

You may call the Secretary of State's office at 404.656.3920 or check their website at to verify that the charity or paid solicitor is registered to operate in Georgia.

It is illegal for a caller to send someone to your home to pick up a charitable monetary contribution. If this occurs, report the incident immediately to the Secretary of State's office at 404.656.3920.

To screen unfamiliar companies for reports of fraudulent activity, call the following groups:

National Fraud Information Center1

Georgia Better Business Bureau offices
Check Your Local Telephone Listings

Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs
- or -
1.800.869.1123 toll free in Georgia, outside the Atlanta dialing area

Other Tips 

  • Never send money or give out your credit card or bank account numbers to unfamiliar businesses. Aside from granting the telemarketers immediate access to your accounts, your financial and personal information may be sold to other telemarketers or, even worse, they may set up their own credit identity with your personal financial information.

The Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs and the Secretary of State’s Office may address unlawful activities through administrative processes or may proceed to court with the Georgia Attorney General as their legal representative. The Attorney General has the authority to request the court to stop the telemarketing fraud, prohibit future fraudulent activity and seek restitution for victims. In many cases, the Attorney General serves as the last line of defense in the war that the State of Georgia is waging against telemarketing fraud.

In the event you experience a telemarketing fraud problem, it is suggested that you contact one of the organizations listed below:

For Investments or Charitable Solicitations Issues, Contact:

The Office of the Secretary of State
Division of Securities and Business Regulation
2 M. L. King Jr. Drive, Suite 802
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Telephone: 404.656.3920

For General Consumer Matters, Contact:
The Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs
2 M. L. King Jr. Drive, Suite 356
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Telephone: 404.651.8600
1.800.869.1123 (toll free in Georgia, outside the metro Atlanta dialing area)

To Verify Registration of Charitable Organizations,
Securities Broker/Dealers or Investment
Advisors with the State, Contact:

Charitable Organizations and Paid Solicitors

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