IRS warns of Boston charity scams

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by Becky Mortensen

MILWAUKEE --- Often, after major tragedies a flood of charities open up. The bombing in Boston is no exception. There have been a number of charities popping up to help those affected by the bombings at the Boston Marathon.

The IRS wants to remind people to be aware of scams when donating money to any charity.

Often times bogus charities will try to solicit money via phone or social media. The IRS lists several tips on how to avoid donating to a illegitimate charity.

First, donate to qualified charities only. You can use the Exempt Organizations Select Check tool at IRS.gov to find qualified charities. Only qualified charitable organizations are tax-deductible.

Be wary of charities with similar names. Some phony charities use names that are similar to known organizations. Double check the spelling of organizations and check that they have a legitimate website.

Don't give out personal financial information to any charity. Don't provide your social security number or bank account numbers for any reason. Scammers may use them to steal your identity or access your accounts.

Don't give or send cash for security and tax record purposes.

Finally, report any suspected fraud. A charity that does not seem legitimate can be reported to IRS.gov. Go to the website and search "Report Phishing".

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