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AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) –  Before you reach for your wallet to help police officers and their families, be sure you know who you’re giving to.

Attorney General Ken Paxton is encouraging citizens who want to donate to the victims of the Dallas police shootings to give compassionately, but give carefully.

The Dallas Police Department is directing charitable contributions to the Assist the Officer Foundation , the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation and The Dallas Foundation.

All three funds are intended to help with funeral costs and assist the families of the five law enforcement officers killed in last week’s horrific attack.

In a news release, the AG’s office said:

“While there are many legitimate charities, there are also fraudulent ones that prey on the generosity of Texans. Do not get taken by scammers who may set up fake charities or funds to make money off the Dallas tragedy. Be wary of anyone calling and asking for donations by credit card. Con artists will sometimes send emails directing recipients to bogus websites that appear to be affiliated with credible charitable causes. Another warning sign is a vague appeal for money that does not specify how it will be used or distributed.”

The AG’s office says Texans can help combat charity fraud by reporting suspicious solicitations.

It’s recommended people write down the date and time of the call, the organization’s name, and the name and phone number of the solicitor.

You can file a complaint online with the Consumer Protection Division of the Texas Attorney General’s Office here.

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