Money Wise--Donating Online

With the death toll on the rise and cleanup efforts underway, every penny donated to victims of the deadly tsunami in Asia will help. But, how do you know for sure that your donations will go to the right place?

Many here in the US are turning to websites to help. The problem, though, is that there could be some scam sites set up specifically to steal the monetary donations you intended for the victims.

"Scammers have become pretty good at their job, so to speak, and I think scamming people with the tsunami has become easy because people are so willing to give," said Rebecca Fuller, the communications director for eMarket South, a company that designs websites in Savannah.

She says setting up a fake site would be all too simple. "In this day in age, everyone has a website, so they've made it pretty easy."

Another concern when giving is making sure all the money donated goes to the charity's cause and not it's administrative costs. You can either ask the charity directly where their donations go, or you could go to www.charitynavigator.org.

No matter who you're giving to or how you do it, just take a minute to double check the charity'ss reputation. You can do that through any watchdog website. One of the most popular: www.give.org.

If you have money questions you'd like answered in Money Wise, email moneywise@wtoc.com.

Reported by: Dmitra Denmark, ddenmark@wtoc.com