NEW YORK ( TheStreet) Americans are sure in a giving mode during the holidays, and this year should be no different.
According to the Blackbaud 2012 Charitable Giving Report, December is far and away the strongest month on the calendar for charitable giving.
It accounts for 17.7% of all giving for the year, just about double the amount of October, the second-leading month (at 8.4%), and way ahead of July, the lowest month for charitable activity (at 6.5%).
Even as Americans should be applauded for their generosity in the holiday season, some institutions are warning consumers to be on guard this month, as it's also the highest period of financial fraud activity.
That warning come from Western Union and the Better Business Bureau, who banded together to create the BBB Scam Stopper division.
It's in the heart of the holidays when identity thieves turn up the heat on scams via phone, email and social media sites. Charitable consumers should be especially aware of fraudsters posing as actual charitable groups over the next several weeks.
"We urge donors to give thoughtfully, and to be wary of scams this holiday season," says Art Taylor, chief executive of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. "It's important to check out a charity first, and make sure you are giving to a charity that will use your donation wisely."
Here is a list of tips to minimize the odds of charitable-minded consumers being tripped up by ID thieves: