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California Attorney General Rob Bonta Monday offered tips on how to donate safely and avoid charity fraud by taking steps to ensure donors are giving to a legitimate cause during the holiday season.

Bonta’s office has primary regulatory oversight of charities and professional fundraisers who solicit on their behalf in California.

At a news conference at the Midnight Mission human services organization in the Skid Row area of downtown Los Angeles, Bonta encouraged donors to make sure their donations get into the correct hands.

“This holiday season, we’re standing with Midnight Mission and organizations through California to deliver an important message: Protect your donations and the charities that need them by taking steps to ensure you are giving to a legitimate cause,” the AG said.

Bonta said people can donate safely by checking the charity’s registration status, giving to trusted organizations, avoiding pressure from telemarketers, being cautious of “look-alike” and fake websites and emails, being wary of social network fundraising, and protecting their personal information.

If you believe that a charity or fundraiser has acted in bad faith, report it immediately at oag.ca.gov/charities/complaints.

For more information on how to protect yourself against charity fraud, visit the AG’s donation tips webpage at oag.ca.gov/donations.

City News Service contributed to this article.

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Ellen Bullock