Don’t get scammed on #GivingTuesday

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – It’s #GivingTuesday — a day when you’re asked to give back. Charities promote it through social media or email.

There are a lot of ways to give back during the holidays, but it’s important to make sure your money is going to the place you intended.

Walking just about anywhere, the sweet sound of giving is heard through the Salvation Army’s red kettle bells…and a little extra loud for Giving Tuesday.

Kathy Anderson-Martin, the director of resource development, says, “We’re using Giving Tuesday to publicize the needs, to remind our donors and friends.”

The Better Business Bureau says charities get a third of their annual donations during the holiday season.

“The mantra is give, but give wisely,” says Mark Pacella, Chief Deputy of the Attorney General in Charitable Trusts and Organizations Section.

It’s also the season to scam.

Pacella says, “The best advice to follow is to avoid giving on impulse.”

Tip 1: Do your research. Ask for specific information about the organization and follow up with a call. Which, brings us to tip 2: be wary of the internet.

“We learned some lessons in the past that even some charitable organizations as well thought of as the Red Cross, it had some bogus websites up that scammers put up,” says Pacella.

Tip 3: Avoid using cash, credit cards and money wires.

“Ideally, people should give in some form of check or moneys that are traceable.”

Finally, legitimate charities are registered with the state, so check if you’re skeptical.

Even our most trusted organizations have been targets.

The Salvation Army’s Kathy Anderson-Martin says, “If you see a red kettle, it should have a Salvation Army sign, and the volunteer should have a Salvation Army ‘I’m a bell ringer’ shirt, so you should know. If you see a guy with a red bucket, probably not Salvation Army.”

But we don’t want to discourage you, it is important to give back so that everyone can have a happy holiday season.

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