A spokesman for the Sweetwater County Sheriff's Department is warning people about scams that use natural disasters and phony charities to con money out of well meaning donors.

Dick Blust says it pays to do a little research about purported charities before you actually donate money. He also says that if you receive an e-mail which includes a link, you should instead go directly to the organization's website rather than clicking on the link.  Blust says legitimate charities won't ask you for your bank account or Social Security information--and if you are asked for that information it should raise a red flag.

Blust also says legitimate charities won't mind answering questions about how donations are spent.