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Officials warn residents to guard against fraud

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The U.S. attorney for western Oklahoma is urging residents and businesses to keep their guard up when preparing to make donations to aid the tornado relief effort.

U.S. Attorney Sanford C. Coats says scams can come in a number of forms, including email, phone calls and mail solicitations.

Coats says his office and other federal agencies are prepared to respond to scams.

People can report suspected fraudulent operations by calling the National Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or through e-mail at disaster(at)leo.gov.

Coats says scam artists will use names similar to legitimate charitable outfits and may use high-pressure tactics to generate contributions. Coats says honest charities don't strong-arm potential donors.

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