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Tips to make donations to Ebola charities

Avoid scams posing as legitimate organizations

There are some charities that can help the experts fight Ebola and even help researchers find a cure.

But how do you know which ones are legitimate?

The Federal Trade Commission has this advice:

  • Choose charities you know and trust.If you come across a website and aren't sure if it's an actual charitable organization, look it up on Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, IRS Select Check or Foundation Center.
  • If you receive a phone call asking for a donation, ask if the person is a paid fundraiser. You should also find out who they work for and how much of your donation will go to the charity.
  • Did you get a text asking for a donation? Confirm the number with the source. The FTC says text donations are not immediate. It could take up to 90 days for the charity to receive your money.
  • If an email hits your inbox, don't click on links or attachments unless you know who sent it and what it is. Even if it comes from friends or family, one click could install malware on your computer or phone (if that's where you're reading email) making your personal information available to criminals.
  • Never make a cash donation. You can't be sure it will actually be put to good use.
  • Never give out financial information – like bank or credit card information – unless you know the charity is reputable.

Politifact has been fact-checking claims about Ebola since July. To see the top five false claims, click here.