Don't Fall for Charity Scams This Holiday Season! - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

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Don't Fall for Charity Scams This Holiday Season!

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Giving truly is the spirit of the season. But, be careful, because sometimes the people getting your donation aren't really in need.

"They told her that they were representing the Red Cross and they were selling soap products and that they were collecting donations to give to Red Cross for the holiday," says West Central Georgia American Red Cross Executive Director Sharon Lyon.

Soap products, seems strange right, well, not according to the Better Business Bureau's Leonard Crain. Crain says thieves will go to great lengths, even dressing in uniform. Plus, they often sell cheaper products that provide a visible, tangible result for the buyer.

When it comes to giving to a charity, try not to use cash and keep a record of your donations. The most important advice Crain says they can offer is simply to investigate before you donate.

"You want to give, but you want to give wisely, be sure that the money you donate actually goes to the end user and to the organizations."

And check the organization's policies, for example legitimate Red Cross volunteers would never knock on your door asking for donations.

"Nationally, Red Cross has a long standing corporate practice and a policy that we do not do door to door soliciting and we do not do telephone solicitations," says Lyon.

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