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Secretary of State Warns Citizens of Potential Scam

ATLANTA - Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger warns citizens to be wary of a potential scam regarding an organization holding itself out as the “Atlanta Civil and Global Human Rights” and the alleged “ACGHR 2019 World Conference” purporting to be held in Atlanta, Georgia at the Atlanta Convention Center from August 26, 2019 through August 31, 2019.

Today, the Secretary of State’s office issued an emergency cease and desist letter to the group.

Per information obtained by the Secretary of State’s Office and upon review of the supposed “Atlanta Civil and Global Human Rights” website, the organization claims an individual’s registration are paid by the organization upon successful completion of the individual reserving and completing payment for accommodations at a “Thomas Louis Hotel Atlanta.” Moreover, the “Thomas Louis Hotel Atlanta” requires the individual to complete reservations by providing payment before becoming “registered” as a participant of “The ACGHR 2019 World Conference.” Neither the Atlanta Civil and Global Human Rights, the ACGHR 2019 World Conference, nor the Thomas Louis Hotel Atlanta exist.

The group could also be phishing for personal information for identity fraud purposes. When emailed, the respondent asks callers leave a message in order for a call back or email. Victims are asked to share credit card information and scan copies of their passports.

Secretary Raffensperger issues the following tips for Georgians when receiving unsolicited communications regarding purported nonprofit and/or charitable organizations:

- Solicitations that require individuals to make payment via money transfer services prior to receiving the services or products offered should raise concerns.

- Should you be asked, never give your personal information over the phone or via email to groups that you cannot verify.

- Research nonprofit charities and foundations before you contribute. A number of online resources can help you research nonprofit organizations. The Better Business Bureau, the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, GuideStar, Charity Navigator, and Charity Watch provide detailed information about non-profit organizations. Also, take time to review the organization’s own website.

- Be wary of unsolicited electronic mail correspondence seeking contributions. Do not respond to unsolicited emails and do not open any attachments to these emails. These attachments may contain viruses.

- Not all organizations with charitable-sounding names are actually charities. Many organizations adopt names confusingly similar to well-known charities. Be sure you know exactly who is asking for your contribution.

The Securities and Charities Division encourages Georgians to contact division staff if they receive suspicious solicitations from nonprofit charities and/or nonprofit foundations. To report suspicious activity, call (470) 312-2640. You can also email charities@sos.ga.gov to submit a complaint.

Brad Raffensperger has been Secretary of State since January 2019. Among the office’s wide-ranging responsibilities, the Secretary of State is charged with conducting secure, accessible, and fair elections, the registration of corporations, and the regulation of securities, charities, and professional license holders. For more information about the office, go to www.sos.ga.gov.

Submitted 7.9.19