It’s the season of giving and many Iowans are wanting to make charitable contributions before the calendar year runs out — out of generosity and for the tax benefits.

As you decide who should get a check, Bao Vang at the Better Business Bureau is encouraging us to do our homework to avoid being ripped off.

“Watch out for charity name confusion,” Vang says. “Scammers want to trick you into thinking they are someone else, including a reputable, credible organization that you already have a special connection with.”

If you have any doubts, Vang says to do your research to ensure a charity is on the up and up, and don’t donate right away to anyone who calls.

“Resist the pressure to give immediately and on the spot,” Vang says. “Rushing you is one of the most common tactics of scammers.

When you feel rushed, pause, take a breath and think about the offer.” If you think you’ve been scammed, go to the BBB’s scam tracker and report it.

Radio Iowa