How to Avoid Charity Fraud During the Holidays

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – While we all feel a little more compelled to give our money to strangers during the holidays, it’s important to know where your money is going.

We've seen fraudulent charities pop up during times of tragedy or disaster and watched generous people be taken.

West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant wants to make certain what is not lost on people is where their money goes when they contribute to charities, especially with the economy so tough.

That’s why Tennant’s office has all of the information at your fingertips. Every charity that's raised more than $25,000 is listed.

In addition to hard sells, the folks at Tennant’s office want you to ask for identification, or literature. You also are encouraged to pay with a check so there is a paper trail and you should also ask where the money goes.

Ask how much of the charity dollars will go to fundraising, how much goes to administrative and general expenses, and how much is left for the program that you want to support.

There are more than 2,600 registered charities with the Tennant’s office. They’re available by going to the Featured Links here at

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