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Sep 9, 2011 6:08 PM by Carolyn Carver

"If it will pull at the heart-strings and they can get a dollar, that works"

Use your head and your heart if you plan on donating to 9/11 charities, that's the warning from the Southern Colorado Better Business Bureau this anniversary.

Consumer advocates say an increasing number of people want to donate to the many people that are still affected by that day, but Carol Odell at the BBB says some unscrupulous scammers are willing to do just about anything to make a quick buck.

"If it will pull at the heart strings and they can get a dollar, that works," she says.

According to Charity Navigator, the IRS fast-tracked the approval of 300 new 9/11 related charities after September 11th, 2001. But by 2006, a third of them could not be located and 38 had closed.

Here's what you need to know before you give.

Odell says, do your homework on the organization.

Always ask questions and don't be rushed into giving.

Always use a check instead of the phone or Internet when you do give.

And do your research. Check out IRS.gov to see if the organization is in fact tax exempt. And check out BBB.org to see how the organization stacks up to others.

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