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This holiday season, check out charities before donating

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--‘Tis the season for giving, but every year the BBB says they sees plenty of scams when it comes to charitable donations.

That's why it has an entire unit dedicated to tracking organizations that receive donations.

 So, before you give any money this season, they want you to do your homework, and they have a tool to help

With nothing more than a stroke of the keyboard, this Better Business Bureau site is available to help you avoid a holiday headache.

 “Do some kind of research before giving any gift,” Benjamin Barbour, with the BBB, said, “it will allow you to donate with confidence after checking out local charities.”

Barbour keeps tabs on more than one hundred charitable agencies, and tracks information for potential donors so they won't fall victim to bogus charities.

"It's very difficult hearing that because it's taking away money from either a local organization or national one that truly would have used it to help someone in need,” Barbour.

He said that research will help you weed out fake charities that may use names that sound similar to a reputable charity.

Barbour encouraged citizens not to feel pressured to give on the spot. And he said if you think you've been duped, report it immediately.  

"For more information on tracking local charitable organizations through the BBB, just click here: