CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – We are entering the months when people are feeling a little more generous.

Coincidentally, it’s also Charity Fraud Awareness Week – a good time to think about who you want to give and where that money is actually going.

According to North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, “As people start to donate more money, scammers are stepping out of the woods to try and steal more money. “

He says his office has received more than 50 complaints about charity scams this year, totaling nearly $ 50,000.

“We fully anticipate that these numbers will increase in the last 3 months of the year.”

When it comes time to give, we know North Carolinians open their wallets quickly, but be careful!

“We strongly recommend that you donate to charities that you know, trust, and who will use the money in a way that makes the difference you want. “

One of the websites he recommends is GuideStar.

You can view a charity’s tax return and find out about assets, salaries, and other expenses.

“The two biggest complaints we’re getting are a legitimate charity that uses a paid telemarketer who takes 90% of the dollar you give them, only 10%, 10 cents on the dollar, is actually going to help what you want them to help. , the rest just goes to the telemarketer.

The second complaint is blatant fraud – a made-up business.

To avoid this, you turn to the company.

“There are so many scams perpetuated on Facebook where they tell a story that’s really heartbreaking and you say it’s wrong, I want to do something, and they’ll put up a GoFundMe page, you have no idea if that ‘is legitimate or not. “

On social media, you’ve probably seen people asking for donations.

If this is a crowdfunding campaign, find the organizer and contact them. If they don’t provide a valid phone number or email, steer clear.

If there is a link to a charity’s website, go ahead and search for that “https” to make sure it’s secure.

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