PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) – West Virginians are known for helping those in need. However, scammers prey on that generosity to make a quick buck.

The recent conflict in Israel and Palestine has brought out scammers looking to prey on those donating to humanitarian nonprofits.

The Better Business Bureau as well as local authorities are warning the public to be on the lookout for scams.

Researching charities helps ensure the money is going to the right place. Around $2.6 billion dollars were lost to impostor scams last year according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Lieutenant Steven Sommers of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department warns that any link can be a scam.

“Links within Facebook, Instagram or social media. Any embedded links. I would stay away from it,” said Sommers.

A few safe, national charities people can donate to are Save the ChildrenCatholic Relief Services and the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund.

The Better Business Bureau also provides a list of charities that have been through their vetting process and are currently accepting donations for relief efforts.

Lt. Sommers also recommends doing your own research on organizations before donating.

“The organization, have you ever heard of it before? Search that organization online. If you are a little bit more computer savvy or know people that are, search the domain name,” added Sommers.