Don't Get Hooked: Checking Charities

One person's misfortune is another person's opportunity.

Unfortunately that is the way the mind of a scam artist works in the days following a tragedy, and Hurricane Sandy has been no exception.

That's why Seven-On-Your-Side and the Arkansas Better Business Bureau have some advice tonight for those of you feeling the urge to help out.

The BBB makes it easy to check out a charity before you donate to a relief effort.

Taking the time and that extra step will help make sure that youdon't get hooked.

The images were movingand the need remains great.

And the victim list is growing as well-meaning donors are being duped by pop-up charities collecting cash in the name of relief.

"There are always individuals that will take advantage of other people's misfortune...unfortunately," says Janet Robb with the Arkansas Better Business Bureau. "We tend to be a very generous nation. And when you see others in need you want to give and you want to help them out. But the key here is givebut give wisely."

Robb says the Better Business Bureau makes it easy to check out a charity.

You can visit and search your charity of choice to help ensure youdon't get hooked.

"The Better Business Bureau has for over 100 years evaluated standards of businesses and charities," says Robb. "And one of our evaluative standards on charities is how much of every dollar actually goes to that program's charities and services. We require at least 65 percent goes to the programs and services they claim to be supporting."

The BBB evaluates charities in categories like governance, effectiveness, fundraising and finances.

Again, to check out a charity visit

Air date: November 7th, 2012