5 ways to not get scammed when donating money this holiday season

Be careful when you donate your money this holiday season so scammers don’t take advantage of your good intentions.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is suing Cops for Kids, an Ohio-based non-profit, calling it a scam.

Cops For Kids has raised more than $4 million during the last decade, but has given less than 2 percent of it to police and children, according to DeWine. Nearly 80 percent of donations went to a telemarketing company, and Cops for Kids paid its two employees most of the rest — more than $600,000.

“That leaves only about $74,000 or less than 2 percent of the money going to actual charitable programming,” DeWine said at a news conference.

MORE: Food donations can erase your library fines in Butler County

Here are 5 pieces of advice to follow if you give to charity this holiday season:

  • Give to groups you know. You've seen their work. You may even have benefited from it.
  • Stay local. The money is more likely to be spent in your community.
  • Visit the charity. See how it uses money, and even volunteer.
  • Research the charity online.
  • Ask questions. People who want your money should always welcome questions about how they spend it.

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