Lindsay Bramson joined News4 in June 2016 as an investigative reporter.

Giving Tuesday is a day for us to donate to our favorite charities, but it's also a day where you could get scammed.

Consumer investigator Lindsay Bramson is watching out for your money and has everything you need to know before you donate.

Whether it's the Red Cross, The American Heart Association or the Nashville Humane Association, organizations like these depend on donations.

"Without donations, we would not be able to respond to the disasters that we see in the news every day,” said Sarah Basel with the Tennessee Red Cross.

Disasters like the fires out in California where volunteers with the Tennessee Red Cross are right now.

With these organizations you know your money is going to a good cause, but what about some of the others out there?

Just look on GoFundMe, and you'll find dozens of people asking for money.

The problem? Not all of them are real.

Back in 2015, the News4 I-Team told you about Tracy Dubois, who admitted to taking thousands of dollars from people using GoFundMe when she pretended to have cancer.

In fact, experts say scammers use Giving Tuesday to try and take advantage of those willing to donate, mostly online through websites like GoFundMe.

The Better Business Bureau says GoFundMe is one of the biggest ways people donate online.

So if you want to give to a worthy cause, what can you do so you don’t become a victim?

First, consider donating to only those people you know. Next, don’t be the first one to give money. And read the comments. Often people talk about the campaign, and you can see what others are saying.

"Making a donation during the holiday season really means a lot, and it goes a long way. Whether it's $5, $100 or $1,000, every donation matters,” said Basel.

Last year, 31% of annual giving to the American Heart Association, another popular organization on Giving Tuesday, occurred during the holiday season.

On average, a gift to a nonprofit like the American Heart Association during this time of year is twice as high as a typical gift any other time of the year.

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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