Sec. of State calls to End Business with Russia, beware Scam Ukraine Charities

February 28th, 2022 – 4:30 PM

Press Release –

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is calling on Georgia registered businesses and Georgia investors to stop business with Russia in solidarity with Ukraine and to help support their fight for freedom and democracy. As Secretary of State, Raffensperger serves as the Commissioner of Securities and oversees the registration of businesses in Georgia.

“I am calling on all Georgians to do their part to support the people of Ukraine in their fight to defend against Russia’s aggression in Europe,” said Raffensperger. “Putin has made clear his designs to roll back the progress of democracy and freedom in the world, and the people of Ukraine are bearing the brunt of his violent revisionism. I am calling on the people of Georgia to cease any business with Russia or investment in Russian assets, or companies that support Russia, to demonstrate our resolve on the side of liberty and freedom from tyranny.”

The Secretary’s call follows Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week.

Raffensperger is Georgia’s Commissioner of Securities and, in that capacity, implements and enforces Georgia’s securities laws. Raffensperger’s Securities Division registers securities offered or sold in Georgia, oversees firms and individuals selling securities or providing investment advice in Georgia, enforces the Securities Act through criminal, civil and administrative procedures, and promotes financial literacy and investor education as part of investor protection. 

Raffensperger also oversees the registration of businesses in Georgia. As of February 2022, there were more than 1.3 million businesses registered in the state of Georgia.

Raffensperger also warned Georgia citizens to be wary of scam charities looking to profit off of the crisis in Ukraine.

“As Secretary of State, it is my duty to warn the people of Georgia about the scams and frauds looking to take advantage of their goodwill and generosity,” said Raffensperger. “I encourage my fellow Georgians to support the people of Ukraine in their fight for freedom. But they should make sure their support is going to real charities who will actually send their dollars to the right cause.”

Before making charitable contributions this year, please keep these tips in mind:

  • Research Online – If there is a charitable organization or cause to which you would like to donate, research online beforehand to ensure the charity is right for you. The Better Business BureauCharity NavigatorGuidestar, and other websites provide evaluations of different charitable organizations.
  • Check For Charity Filings – Before making any donation, be sure to confirm the organization you are supporting is a legitimate 501(c)(3) charity. Ask for the organization’s Employer Identification Number (EIN) and search it on the IRS website, or look for the organization’s 990 tax filings.
  • Effectiveness Matters – Take the time to look at an organization’s financial situation. Tools available online, such as those mentioned above, will provide you with information necessary to ascertain how much of your contribution will actually go to those in need versus administrative or other costs. Ask what percentage of your donation will go to relief efforts.
  • Do not share personal financial information over the phone – Do not share your credit card, debit card, or bank account information over the phone. Donate by check or credit card, rather than cash. And send the contribution directly to the organization rather than through a third party. If you donate more than $250, the organization should send you a letter confirming the size of your donation.
  • Tax Deductible Donations – If making a tax-deductible donation is important to you, search the database of tax-exempt organizations available on the IRS website. Before making your donation, ensure the charity you have identified is in fact tax deductible. Then, once you have made the donation, be sure to get a receipt for your contribution.

The Charities Division encourages Georgians to contact division staff if they receive suspicious charitable solicitations. To report suspicious activity, see the Report a Scam guide.

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