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VERIFY: How to make sure a charity is legit and not get scammed on #GivingTuesday

It's become increasingly difficult to tell the difference between legitimate charities and fraudulent look-a-likes.

WASHINGTON — The third weekday after Thanksgiving has become a global day of generosity, dubbed "Giving Tuesday." 

After a holiday weekend of being grateful for all that we have, Giving Tuesday took shape in 2012 as a way to spread gratitude and help those outside our immediate circles.

Charities from around the world will be making a list and checking it twice, asking people to pledge a donation before the next round of holidays.

A lot of worthy causes will be vying for a donation, so how can you tell if a charity is legit?

First and foremost, remember that just because someone calls for a contribution, doesn't mean you should feel pressured to give something on the spot. 

Any reputable fundraiser will be perfectly happy with a donation tomorrow or the next day.

Take your time to do your homework. 

Tools like Charity Navigator, GuideStar, Charity Watch or the Internal Revenue Service's non-profit database, all make it easy to lookup an organization's 501c3 status.

Next, the Better Business Bureau says vet the charity’s website.

They should be transparent about their purpose and programs and include a list of annual reports.

In those reports, make sure that at least 65 percent of all spending goes towards the charity’s mission, and 35 percent or less is spent on fundraising, the BBB said.

Another pro tip: search around online and make sure the charity hasn't issued any news or social media alerts about spoofers. You want to make sure you're giving to the charity itself and not a copy-cat.

The Federal Trade Commission says don't trust your caller ID, technology today makes it easy for scammers to spoof a call from anywhere.

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