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As Congress and presidential candidates trade accusations over immigration reform, advocates and experts urge caution in spreading misinformation; Alabama takes new action IVF policy following controversial court decision; and central states urge caution with wildfires brewing.

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Congress reaches a deal to avoid a partial government shutdown again. Arizona Republicans want to ensure Trump remains on their state ballot and Senate Democrats reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

On Giving Tuesday, tips to make sure scammers don't get your donation

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Tuesday, November 28, 2023   

Today is Giving Tuesday, a day when millions of Americans are expected to make charitable donations.

But it can also be a field day for scammers. Experts have tips on how to make sure your contribution ends up in the right hands.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta says charities are required to file financial reports with the state's Department of Justice, so you can go online and check their registration status.

"You can use our registry: search tool@oag.ca.gov, under charities to ensure a charity is in good standing and is up to date with its financial reporting requirements," Bonta explained.

Consumers are urged to read those financial reports, to find out what percentage of their revenue is spent on the mission versus on staff and overhead. Experts also warn people not to fall for high-pressure tactics used on telemarketing calls.

Bonta urged people to check the name, email and web address carefully to be certain you don't fall prey to a scammer posing as a real charity.

"Take, for example, the American Red Cross of California. Sounds good. But that's not the American Red Cross that we know and love," he said. "It sounds like the Red Cross, but that was actually the name of a now-defunct organization that our office ordered to 'cease and desist' back in 2019 for misleading donors."

Officials also advise consumers to be careful if asked to make a donation via text, QR code or portable credit card reader. Verify that the person asking truly represents a legitimate charity, get a receipt, and check your credit card statement right away to make sure you were charged the correct amount.


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