The holidays are here! A time of happiness! But scammers want to wipe that happiness away by stealing your money, and stealing your identity.

Charitable organizations need our help, particularly this time of year. Sadly, there are a lot of people in need, right here in our community. Scammers are taking advantage of them, and of our generosity by posing as non-profits.

Because of that, Robyn Householder with the Better Business Bureau donating via credit card is the best way to donate.

She said, “Always donate with a credit card, because that way if there is a problem afterwards, your bank can help you get that money back. Never wire and never send gift cards, when you do that consider it a gift, it’s gone.”

There are a few ways to make sure you don’t fall victim to a charity scam. Watch for non-profits you may have heard of, but with a slightly different name, and people claiming they’re with non-profits who ask for cash-only donations or for a money wire. Do your research. Verify the charity is legit at, and really look over the organization’s website for specific information about how your donation will be used.

If you believe that you are a victim of a scam involving a charity or fundraising group, be sure to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Filing a complaint helps stop these fraudulent organizations and help to detect patterns.