A warning from the Better Business Bureau as relief efforts ramp up ahead of Hurricane Dorian.

"The objective here is just to make sure where your money is donated to that it is used properly," Jim Winsett said.

As Hurricane Dorian inches closer to the East Coast, the Better Business Bureau is issuing a warning to be careful when giving to relief efforts.

"Sadly, some of those are wanting to take advantage of the circumstances and maybe in a fraudulent way or take benefit of money that might be donated," Winsett added.

Winsett is the President of the Better Business Bureau in Chattanooga and said the best thing you can do before giving is to make sure the organization is legitimate.

These 12 organizations meet the 20 standards required by the BBB, earning the title of accredited charities for relief assistance:

"You can see if they meet the standards of accreditation. Charitable organizations are scrutinized and evaluated more closely than businesses are," he added.

Winsett warns to stay away from crowdsourcing websites like Go Fund Me pages because you never know how donations are actually used.

"At the end of the day, do you want to know where your money has gone and how it was used? Well, within those types of organizations it is not," he added.

A little bit of checking on the front end can ensure your donation goes exactly where it's needed most.

"We encourage people to donate. We encourage them to give and be supportive of your fellow man, those who are in need at this time. Just do so wisely," he said.

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