AUGUSTA — Maine Attorney General William Schneider says residents need to be wary about donating to relief efforts linked to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

Schneider says a tragedy like the one in Japan creates an opportunity “for good-hearted people to be victimized by scammers.” He reminds residents to never give out a credit card, debit card or bank information over the phone or over the Internet.

He says Maine consumers who wish to determine if a charity is legitimate are encouraged to check the Maine Office of Licensing & Registration.