JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - You'll want to be on the lookout for fake charities popping up in the wake of the Boston marathon bombings.
With social media allowing people to connect with so many others at once, it's easy for scam artists to send a phony link to a lot of people that could have you lining a criminal's pockets instead of helping the victims in Boston.
"Be skeptical," says local Better Business Bureau president Tom Stephens.
Donating to charity is a way to help no matter the distance, but Stephens says Facebook and Twitter are two of the biggest culprits for spawning fake charities.
"There are always people who will take advantage of it by trying to set up some sort of fake charity."
Stephens says one way to tell whether or not a charity is legitimate is to ask where your money is going and how it will be used.
"You can ask them 'OK what exactly are you going to do to help these people tell me exactly what your plans are,'" says Stephens. "The fake ones won't have any plans, they'll just say 'oh we're going to figure it out. If we get the money we just gotta collect the sum of money first and then we will figure out what the greatest need is.' The established guys know what the need is because they've been down this road before."
You can visit the Better Business Bureau's website for some tips on how not to get scammed by fake charities and even check to see whether or not a certain charity is certified.