Phone and e-mail scams:

• Don't invest with a stranger over the phone or the Internet.

• Ask if you can cancel or return your purchase after you order.

• Ask for the solicitor's name, address and phone number, and verify the information through the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at or 1-800-721-SAFE.

• Get the solicitor to repeat any information that you're confused about.

• Get everything in writing before sending money.

• Be very cautious about giving out your bank account, credit card or any personal information over the phone.

Giving to charities:

• Verify that the charity is registered with the Utah Division of Consumer Protection.

• Make sure you're comfortable with the percentage of funds going to the charity in comparison with its administrative costs.

• Know that most legitimate charities have local programs and offices.

• Never respond to an emotional plea. Ask for printed material before donating.

• Always pay by check, and never give credit-card or bank information.

• If in doubt, don't give.

Source: Utah Division of Consumer Protection