‘Money: It’s Personal’ — Tips for charitable giving this holiday season

SAN ANTONIO – During the holiday season, many people put their money toward a great cause and give to the charity or charities of their choice. But if you don't do your research, the money you think is going to help people may be falling into the wrong hands.

The Federal Trade Commission has some tips to help you ensure your donation to charity is going to help others.

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First, do some online research. If you don’t already have a charity to support, search for a cause you care about, such as “homeless children” or “hurricane relief.” Pair your search terms with phrases like “best charity” or “highly rated charity.” Once you have found a charity you’d like to donate to, look for its rating and see if it has any complaints or has been part of any scams.

‘Money: It’s Personal’ — Tips to avoid online holiday scams

Next, think about how you’ll be making your donation. The FTC says if you want to be on the safe side, pay the charity with a credit card or check. It’s good practice to keep a record of all the donations you have made for the year.

Before you click on a link to donate online, make sure you know who is receiving your donation.

Lastly, keep scammers’ tricks in mind when you’re thinking of donating to a cause. Don’t let anyone rush you into giving. Remember that scammers can spoof caller ID to make it look like their calling from a local number.

If you need to report a scam, visit FTC.gov/complaint.

“Money: It’s Personal” is a series on KSAT’s News at 9 that breaks down personal finance topics. If you have a suggestion or question on the types of topics you’d like us to explain, email iherrera@ksat.com.

For more stories from KSAT’s News at 9, visit KSAT.com/newsat9.

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