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Watch out for scammers during the holiday season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, especially for scammers! While this is the season for giving (and today is Giving Tuesday), those less scrupulous use this time to prey on kind-hearted people. Be aware of scams for Christmas gifts and donations for disaster victims. Avoid “charities” whose representatives won’t answer reasonable questions, such as how, specifically, the money will be spent.

Never give cash or supply credit card information via email or phone. Do not write checks payable to an individual solicitor. If you’ve never heard of an organization, confirm for yourself that it’s real.Give to charities that you know and recognize. Visit the Secretary of State web site at http://www.sos.sc.gov/Search%20Charities or call the Division of Public Charities at (803) 734-1790, to check out any charities to see if they are legitimate.