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Avoid scams on Giving Tuesday

As charities encourage people to donate to a good cause on Giving Tuesday, experts warn potential philanthropists to be careful about where their money is gonig.

Giving Tuesday is an international day of charitable giving celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving when organizations encourage people to make contributions online and through social media.

Experts say anyone looking to give should ensure their personal information is safeguarded when donating online.

“Make sure that you look at the beginning of the URL for the ‘https’,” said Lindsay Lopez, executive director of the Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri.

The “s” stands for secure and means the payment information entered is being encrypted.

“That means your payment information is being handled in the most safe way possible,” she said.

Lopez said people should look for a privacy policy on the charity’s website to verify personal information is protected.

Last year’s Giving Tuesday raised $247 million online from more than 2.5 million contributions, according to the 2017 #Giving Tuesday Data Project.

Giving Tuesday provides an opportunity to maximize donation money.

This year Facebook is partnering with PayPal and plans to match up to $7 million in donations to nonprofits through Facebook.

Lopez said the Food Bank can make Giving Tuesday donations go far.

“The food bank can take one dollar and turn that into $21 worth of groceries,” she said.

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