Category Archives: Notices

Kemp, Carr & Law Enforcement Warn Against Fake Non-Profit’s Conference Scam

ATLANTA – Secretary of State Brian Kemp is working with law enforcement partners, the Federal Trade Commission, and Attorney General Chris Carr to identify and shut down multiple websites established by bad actors posing as a fraudulent and non-existent nonprofit called “Atlanta Human Rights Foundation.” The Secretary of State’s Charities Division has issued an emergency cease and desist order attached to this release.

“It is beyond shameful that con artists would set up a fake entity in the name of human rights when their real objective is stealing money and taking advantage of charitable donors,” stated Secretary Kemp. “Working with Attorney General Chris Carr’s office, FTC officials, and key stakeholders, I have taken decisive action to stop these bad actors in their tracks. We will shut down this type of unlawful activity, and we are encouraging anyone with information about these criminals to contact us immediately.”

According to documents reviewed by the Secretary of State’s office, scammers invited non-native English speakers from abroad to a fictitious “AHRF World Conference” in Atlanta, hosted by the“Atlanta Human Rights Foundation” at a “Norwich Hotel,” purportedly located on Marietta Street. In the correspondence, the “Atlanta Human Rights Foundation” offered to cover round-trip airfare and provide visa assistance, but actually sought to steal money by asking for payments via wire transfers to reserve lodging accommodations. The Atlanta Human Rights Foundation, AHRF 2018 World Conference, and Norwich Hotel Downtown Atlanta do not exist.

The Georgia Secretary of State encourages individuals not only to be aware of this conference invitation scam but remain vigilant in spotting similar attempts. If you receive an invitation to a conference or a solicitation from an unknown organization, check it out first. Solicitations requiring individuals to make payment via money transfer services prior to receiving the services or products offered should raise concern. Be wary of unsolicited telephone calls or emails seeking contributions. Do not respond to unsolicited emails, and do not open any attachments. These attachments may contain viruses.

Always give with confidence by researching a charity’s ratings at the Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Watch, or Charity Navigator. See what other people say about a particular non-profit and search the charity’s name online with the word “scam” or “complaint.” Never pay with cash, gift card, or wire transfer.

Georgians suspicious of solicitations should contact the Secretary of State’s Charities Division at (404) 654-6021 or charities@sos.ga.gov. Scams can also be reported to the BBB Scam Tracker and the Federal Trade Commission (domestic and international). The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division handles complaints from consumers against businesses.

Brian Kemp has been Secretary of State since January 2010. The Secretary of State is charged with conducting secure, accessible, and fair elections, the registration of corporations, and the regulation of securities, charities, and professional license holders. For more information about the office, go to www.sos.ga.gov.

Operation Southern Shield Regional Speed Enforcement Operation Begins Monday

(ATLANTA) –  Law enforcement officers in Georgia are ready to put the hammer down on drivers who are hammering down on their gas pedal during the second annual “Operation Southern Shield” speed enforcement operation.

After last year’s highly successful operation that drew national attention, Georgia will join neighboring states in Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina in pulling over drivers who are breaking the law by traveling above the legal speed limit on interstates, major highways and local roads from Monday, July 16 through Sunday, July 22.

“Our troopers are dedicated to participating in collaborative enforcement efforts like Operation Southern Shield, that encourages motorists to drive safely and slow down,” said Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety. “Our main focus this week is reducing crashes and providing a safer transportation experience for motorists traveling in our state.”

According to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding killed more than 10,000 people in the United States in 2016 and was a factor in 27 percent of fatal crashes in the nation.

A recent study from the United States Department of Transportation found that speed was a factor in 31 percent of fatal crashes in the U.S. from 2005-2014.

According to preliminary numbers from the Georgia Department of Transportation, the number of traffic deaths reported in the state during last year’s Southern Shield was 35 percent lower than the other three weeks of July.

Specifically, there were 25 traffic deaths reported in Georgia during Operation Southern Shield from July 17-23 compared to 34 on July 3-9, 41 on July 10-16 and 39 from July 24-30.

Troopers with the Georgia State Patrol and local law enforcement officers combined to issue 12,469 speeding citations over the seven-day period and took 552 suspected DUI drivers to jail and also made 472 felony arrests.

“If you are pulled over next week, don’t ask for a warning because this is it,” Harris Blackwood, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety said.  “Many of the citations issued last year were for speeds that were well over the legal posted limit.  The speed limit on every road in this state is set to protect everyone who is traveling on them.”

While state and local law enforcement agencies will be handling their own speed enforcement operations across the five southeastern states, Georgia will once again join their law enforcement partners in Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina for joint operations during the week.

For more information about the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, follow us on Facebook at Georgia GOHS, and on Twitter and Instagram at gohsgeorgia.

Georgia and Tennessee kicked off Operation Southern Shield Monday morning at the Georgia Visitor Information Center with Colonel Mark McDonough of the Georgia Department of Public

GBI Announces 2018 Human Trafficking Notice Website Posting

Decatur, GA (July 2, 2018) – The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announces the 2018 Human Trafficking Notice posting on its website: https://gbi.georgia.gov/documents/human-trafficking-notice.

Per Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 16-5-47), the following businesses and other establishments are required to post the notice in each public restroom and in a conspicuous place near the public entrance of the business or establishment or where similar notices are customarily posted:

  • Adult entertainment establishments;
  • Bars;
  • Primary airports;
  • Passenger rail or light rail stations;
  • Bus stations;
  • Truck stops;
  • Emergency rooms within general acute care hospitals;
  • Urgent care centers;
  • Farm labor contractors and day haulers;
  • Privately operated job recruitment centers;
  • Safety rest areas located along interstate highways in this state;
  • Hotels;
  • Businesses and establishments that offer massage or bodywork services by a person who is not a massage therapist; and
  • Government buildings

Please reference O.C.G.A. § 16-5-47 for full business/establishment definitions and details.