DENVER - When disasters strikes, many of those not directly affected open their hearts and wallets to those in need.
Both Jefferson County and Weld County authorities are now warning about fake charities.
So far, none have been reported, but they say it's only a matter of time. Here are some tips to make sure any organization you are donating to is legitimate:
- Most will have a website that ends in .org, instead of .com.
- Beware of organizations with names that are similar to, but slightly different from reputable charities.
- Avoid emails, door-to-door and mail pitches.
- Don't give cash. Use a credit card or check written out to an organization, not to an individual.
Finally, don't be afraid to ask the person representing the charity questions. For example, how the money will be spent; what percentage will go to administrative fees and fundraising; and how much goes to those in need. If the person won't answer those questions, you shouldn't donate.
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