DHS: Beware of scams after national tragedies

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It’s now an unfortunately reality in this country that a small group of scammers try to take advantage of national tragedies such as the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.

Many good-hearted people reach out and want to help by donating money, but doing so on the internet can be a gamble.

The question is, how do you make sure your donations after tragic events don't fall into the wrong hands?

According to the Department of Homeland Security's cyber agency, there are three things you should consider to avoid donation scams.

Number one, research charities or crowd-funding campaigns yourself and make sure it's clear exactly where your money is going. "There's ample opportunity for hoaxes like that to be conducted and unless a company, organization, or even individual does their own due diligence to look into something, they may be subject to it," says law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes.

Secondly, be cautious when it comes to opening email attachments. Experts say do not click on links in unsolicited email messages asking for money.

Number three, be wary of fraudulent pleas and donation ads on social networking sites. The DHS cyber agency also warns about door-to-door solicitations during tragedies.

Even with all the scams, charitable giving can be an important part of healing after a national incident. "You do your best at knowing that hey, there's going to be others out there that do things wrong, that do things for the wrong reasons, that are unethical. But when you go in with the right heart in the first place, everything works out," says Jeff Nene, of Convoy of Hope.

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