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On The Money: Scam artists prey on giving spirit

By Chuck Myers, McClatchy-Tribune News Service –

No mincing the difference between naughty and nice here. Charity scam artists can quickly take the cheer out of the holiday season for generous individuals, families and organizations looking to give.

A wide range of websites serves up tips and insights on how to avoid a charity scam, particularly during the holidays. Here is a sampling of sites with information that can help consumers avoid a holiday swindle.

—AARP: Overview on how to watch for charity hoaxes during the holidays. (UNDERSCORE)holiday(UNDERSCORE)hoaxes.html

—Better Business Bureau: Offers five solid practices to prevent becoming a charity scam victim during the season of giving.

—Federal Trade Commission: Covers how to deal with a potential charity scam and how to spot the warning signs.

—National Consumers League: Lists six tips to avoid a charity scam.

— Spotlights specific scams to avoid during the holiday season.

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