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Tips to avoid scams this Giving Tuesday

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This Tuesday is Giving Tuesday, and with more people struggling due to the pandemic, and many of us spending more time than ever online, it's important to make sure the cause you're donating to isn't a scam.

Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Trade and Consumer Protection are urging you to do your research before you donate this holiday season.
They said if you get an unsolicited text or popup on your phone or computer, don't click on any links, even if you are familiar with the organization.

Instead, they said it is better to search for the organization yourself.

"We are in a time where we're online a lot. We're giving online. We're shopping online and going to school online," said Lara Sutherlin, an administrator with the Wisconsin Division of Trade and Consumer Protection. "There are a lot of scammers out there that are posing as an entity that you should trust."

Sutherlin said there are several places you can check to see if the charity you plan to donate to is legitimate in addition to how much of your donation will go directly to the cause versus administrative fees:

The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions regulates charities in Wisconsin, and Sutherlin said it also serves as a resource to determine if an organization is legitimate.

If you are the victim of a scam or suspect you have found a scam, report it to DATCP or the WDFI, or call 1-800-422-7128.

Jess Langlois

Jess Langlois is the weekend meteorologist and weekday multi-media journalist for News 18. She joined us in July of 2019.

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