Don’t get taken advantage of when donating to charity this holiday season

Criminals have used fake websites to pose as legitimate organizations

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s officially the season of giving. Many people donate to charities this time of year, and many criminals try to take advantage of that generosity.

The Better Business Bureau says that if a charity can’t tell you how the money will be used, that could be a warning sign. You also might want to double check the charity if its name sounds like another familiar charity.

Criminals have used fake websites to pose as legitimate organizations in the past.

You should also be careful if an organization wants you to pay with a pre-paid debit card.

Michael Corley from West Springfield told 22News, “Well, I don’t give them my card over the phone. I have them mail me the pamphlet or whatever they’re sending, and then I make out a check and mail it to whatever address they give to me.”

If you’ve never donated to a charity before, do some research. Look up the name of the organization, with the word “complaint.”

You can also check whether a charity is trustworthy, by contacting the Better Business Bureau.