If you find yourself in a charity scam, you can call the SC Secretary of State's Office at 803-734-2170.

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Over the next week many people will be buying fireworks at stands across the Midlands.

Some of those places claim to be nonprofit, but as we showed in an investigation two years ago that claim may not be accurate.

"Give from the heart, but give smart," Shannon Wiley with the SC Secretary of State Office said. "There were some unregistered charities that were sent notices and were required to register with our office."

WLTX went back to that same stand on Forest Drive and it's under new management by a local church.

They told WLTX their profits go right back to the church itself.

The only way you can make sure you know where your dollar is going is if you ask the questions.

"You need to first ask, what charity is it. Ideally you should be able to check on our website to see whether or not that organization is registered," Wiley said. "Most organizations need to register with the Secretary of State to solicit contributions."

The Secretary of State's Office can't monitor every single charity and what they're doing.

Wiley said that's why the public's help is so important.

"The citizens are our eyes and ears and without them we wouldn't be able to look into these organizations that might not have people's good intentions at heart," she said.

If you find yourself in a charity scam, you can call the SC Secretary of State's Office at 803-734-2170.

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