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BBB Warns Donors Against Charity Scams

CEDAR RAPIDS (CBS 2/ FOX 28) -- The pictures are too hard to ignore from typhoon's across the world and now to tornado devastation in Illinois.
"Most people when they see those images, they just want to help out," said Lia Pontarelli, director of development and communications for the Salvation Army.
Pontarelli says that help has been pouring in from canned goods to money.
"People want to give anything and everything, Pontarelli said.
But before writing that next check the Better Business Bureau says do your homework.
"There are two things that you can always count, Americans are generous people, and number two is someone is always out there waiting to advantage of that generosity," Green said.
They've formed the Wise-Giving Alliance-- a system which looks into whether or not a charity is legit. 
"You do want it to go to the people who really need it," Green said.
A grade appears after typing in a group's name or address--the more familiar the name, the more likely, your money is going to the right place. 
"We just want to make sure that you are covered and that you do feel good about donating," Green said.
The BBB also says if you're going to donate money, it's best to use a credit card. They say if there's an error, it's easier to dispute.

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