SHARECOMMENTMORE

GARDINER, Maine (AP) - Maine consumer protection officials are warning of bogus charities reported to be springing up in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and the school shootings in Connecticut.

Commissioner Anne Head of the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation encourages Maine residents to check the legitimacy of unknown charities, especially those that seem to quickly appear following a tragedy.

Consumers can check with the department on whether a charity is authorized to raise money in Maine and whether disciplinary action has ever been taken against the organization.

Information about charitable solicitations is available on the department's website.

Information and other resources are also available from the Federal Trade Commission.