We all want try to be good people and do the right thing. We help out when we can, which sometimes means donating money. But it’s hard to imagine that anyone would take advantage of someone willing to try to help out someone less fortunate. I was alerted to this by the Better Business Bureau.

I don’t believe it’s happened yet, but be careful of phony charities. I’d hate to think of someone setting one up for the people of Japan, but it could happen. It has happened in the past, like after the 2004 tsunami, Katrina in 2005 and a year ago with the earthquake in Haiti.

Most charities are legitimate, but if you’re not sure, and you can contact the Better Business Bureau and the Wise Giving Alliance. They will help you make an informed decision about donating.

One way to donate is by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation, or you can donate by going to the Red Cross’s website, which is www.redcross.org.

Do you know of any other websites where people can help out the earthquake-tsunami victims? Please make sure they're real charities when you list them below.