Not everyone on the internet has honorable intentions when asking for your money.
When a crisis happens -- close to home or overseas -- people look for ways to help, whether by donating time, funds or other materials. Relief efforts were quickly underway within hours of last week's devastating fire at Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral.
The Federal Trade Commission released a report on Monday warning of scammers posing as fundraisers and charities. Here are a few things to consider before giving to an organization, according to the FTC :
Run a quick search of the charity or fundraiser you want to give to plus the word "scam" or "complaint." The FTC suggests using organizations like BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, CharityWatch and GuideStar to vet the fundraiser you want to donate to.
If someone asks you to donate to an organization, don't be afraid to ask for all the details. Then research the organization using the websites mentioned above.
Along with researching and asking questions, the FTC says online fundraisers should tell you who gets your donation and how the money is getting there. Any part of your donation that is a fee should be disclosed to you, without having to search through the fine print.
To find out if a donation to a foreign organization is tax deductible, you can check the IRS' Tax Exempt Organization Search. Generally, crowdfunding sites aren't tax deductible, according to the FTC.