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The Utah Division of Consumer Protection announced Monday that the agency is joining in the first International Charity Fraud Awareness Week.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Division of Consumer Protection announced Monday that the agency is joining in the first International Charity Fraud Awareness Week.

In addition to the Utah division, the Federal Trade Commission, National Association of State Charities Officials and global charity regulators are participating in the campaign, which is a coordinated international effort to help charities and consumers avoid fraud and promote wise giving.

Utah and other U.S. partners are collaborating with the Charities Commission for England & Wales, which has hosted its own fraud awareness week and is now expanding to other countries. In addition to U.S. participants, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, the New Zealand Charities Service and the Office of the Scottish Regulator are also participating in the international outreach effort.

Some nongovernmental participants are also involved, including Chartered Accountants Worldwide, the U.K.'s Fraud Advisory Panel, along with international charities Oxfam, British Council and Amnesty International.

"Our agency is pleased to support this worldwide consumer education initiative," said Francine Giani, executive director of the Utah Department of Commerce. "The hope is that with the collective efforts of our partners during this premier campaign, more charitable dollars will end up in the right hands and not in fraudsters pockets."

This week, the effort will feature a social media campaign promoting wise giving tips focused on particular topics of interest each day. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission has produced new public service announcement videos on "Make Your Donations Count."

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"Charity fraud continues to trap consumers and businesses as scammers become more sophisticated in creating schemes that play on the public's emotions," explained Daniel O'Bannon, Director of the Utah Division of Consumer Protection. "(Our agency) is proud to be part of the effort to put more user-friendly information into the public's hands no matter where they live."

Follow @UtahCommerce on Twitter for daily fraud tips and tune into the weeklong discussion by using the hashtag #CharityFraudOut.