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Beware of scammers targeting donations to Breast Cancer Awareness Month charities

More than 276,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed this year.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and many of us want to do whatever we can to help eliminate the disease. A lot of times, that includes donations.

So how can you make sure your money gets to the right place? Short answer — do your homework.

There are scammers out there and they will pop up during awareness months such as this one.

You will see a lot of pink being worn and sold and millions will be raised by valid charities for this important cause. But it’s worth it to know where your money is going and the Better Business Bureau is a great place to start. There are also several other websites where you can verify the charity of your choice.

Some scammers will create fake “charities” and try to trick you with similar names or misspellings of well-known charities.

You also want to make sure the site you donate to uses your money wisely and doesn’t spend too much on administrative costs. Some of those telemarketing charities take up to 90% of your donation.

Other scam fundraising techniques tell you a product you buy will be supporting the charity. Again, the portion may be negligible.

There are a few steps you want to take:

  • Check a charity validation site
  • Contact the charity directly
  • Watch the ones heavy on emotion
  • Don’t donate cash — use a credit card
  • Ask about the percentage that goes to the charity
  • Don’t fall for high pressure

These charities often raise millions and your donations keep them going and fund critical research and help people. Just make sure your donations get to the right place.

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Reporter:Rich Kolko
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