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Scam warning: Bogus Boston Marathon charities

NEED TO KNOW
  • Scammers often set up fake websites after tragedies
  • Be sure you know who you're dealing with before you donate
Boston charity

As police and the FBI try to find the people responsible for Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon, consumer watchdog groups are warning of a potential secondary attack: bogus charities looking to steal your money.

Scammers have been known to set up fake charity websites after tragic events and natural disasters, most recently Superstorm Sandy and the Newtown school shootings. Already, more than 100 domain names related to the Boston Marathon attack have been registered, including several that look like charities. A bogus Twitter account soliciting donations has already been shut down.

Read more: How to help the Boston victims

It's important to know who you're giving your money to. HLN money expert Clark Howard offers these tips on safely donating to charity:

  • Donate to well-known organizations.
  • Request literature from the charity before you give.
  • Vet the organization at Charity Navigator or the Better Business Bureau.
  • Don't give money to door-to-door solicitors.
  • Be wary of charities that ask for donations over the phone, or pressure you into giving.

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