The Internal Revenue Service is warning potential donors to beware of charity scams operating in the wake of the explosions last week at the Boston Marathon and a Texas fertilizer plant.

The fraudulent schemes involve solicitations by phone, social media, email or in-person, the IRS noted. “Scam artists use a variety of tactics. Some operate bogus charities that contact people by telephone to solicit money or financial information. Others use emails to steer people to bogus websites to solicit funds, allegedly for the benefit of tragedy victims. The fraudulent websites often mimic the sites of legitimate charities or use names similar to legitimate charities. They may claim affiliation with legitimate charities to persuade members of the public to send money or provide personal financial information. Scammers then use that information to steal the identities or money of their victims.”

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