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Charity Fraud: Know where your money is going

West Virginians are generous folks. When we are able, we give what we can to help our neighbors in need.

But, while there are many responsible charitable organizations in our region, there are also those willing to take advantage of that generosity for their own benefit.

That is why West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, with the help of a few of those legitimate nonprofits, are marking this as International Charity Fraud Awareness Week.

“As we all move into the holiday season … there may be an increased opportunity to give and participate in the community, but then that’s also when they have the evil doers come out and take advantage at times,” said Warner.

Tools such as the AARP’s Fraud Watch Network or wvsos.gov or ago.wv.gov give some peace of mind to those asking questions when something is not quite right about the person asking for money.

“We urge people to take the time, research everything about the charity, check with the Secretary of State’s office to make sure that the charity is bonafide, that it’s listed, and make sure that the dollars that are being spent on the charity are actually going for beneficial purposes,” Morrisey said.

Be careful with your money, ladies and gentlemen. Don’t be afraid to give, but do your homework. Don’t let fraudsters — thieves — ruin your good deed.

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