LA County Sheriff's Dept warns of potential fraud related to Japan catastrophe

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Mike Clarke/AFP/Getty Images

People queue up for buses at a station to get out of the city in Yamagata, Yamagata prefecture on March 15, 2011.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reminds people to be aware of possible fraud in solicitations for Japanese earthquake relief efforts.

The warning comes as more fundraisers for the cause get underway across the Southland.

Commander James Lopez with the Sheriff’s Department says people should also be cautious of phone solicitations.

“Do not provide any bank or credit card information until you've reviewed all from the charity to make sure that your donation was going to go toward a legitimate purpose," says Lopez. "Ask for a receipt showing the contribution amount – and generally these are all tax deductible because they're all nonprofit organizations.”

Lopez also recommends that donors stick to well-known organizations like the American Red Cross. If you’re going to mail monetary donations through the mail, send checks – not cash.

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