Often, when tragedy or national disasters strike, scam artists surface pretending to ask for donations.
So if you plan on donating to families of the Navy Yard shooting victims or people affected by the floods in Colorado, listen up.
The Federal Trade Commission urges people to be wary of charity scams.
For starters, find out if the charity or fundraiser has been registered in your state. Donate to charities you know and trust.
Be wary of charities that seem to have sprung up overnight associated with current events.
Ask if a caller is a paid fundraiser, who they work for and what percentage of your donation goes to the charity.
If you don't like the answers, consider another charity.
Never send cash. You can't be sure the organization will receive your donation and you won't have a record for tax purposes.
You can find information on two funds set up to take donations for Navy Yard victims' families and the surrounding community here.
You can check out a charity here.