Whether consumers donate, shop for pink merchandise or sign up to volunteer or participate in a walk or run, they need to always be aware of potential scams.
Todd Kossow with the FTC says complaints about fake charities are on the rise. The FTC received more than 4,350 complaints about charitable solicitations last year.
"These are basically criminals, they're taking advantage of people's willingness to help those who are less fortunate," Kossow said.
The best way to avoid a scam is to be proactive and research the charity or organization before making a donation.
"You're giving your hard earned money, you want it to reach the people you're trying to help," Kossow said.
The FTC recommends these tips to avoid scams:
- Look up unfamiliar charities online and compare their names with words like "scam" or "complaint" to see what information comes up.
- Ask the charity to mail information to you that outlines where your money is going and what percentage of it will be donated.
- Check the FTC's website for legitimate charities.
For more ways to keep your finances safe or to report a scam visit the FTC's website.