LITTLE ROCK – Not even 24 hours after a devastating storm hit central Arkansas, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s Consumer Protection Division is already learning of reports of phony charities taking advantage of the situation.

At least one scam charity was identified on a crowd-funding website where people can solicit donations for any purpose.

Here are five ways to make sure storm-relief donations go to those who need it most:

1. Confirm the validity of the charity. Go to for a list of those charities registered with the state of Arkansas.

2. Be cautious of donating to sites promoted solely through social media.

3. Double-check crowd-funding sites. These accounts are easy for scammers to create.

4. Give to a trusted organization. Local churches and relief groups like the American Red Cross and Salvation Army are already on the ground helping those affected.

5. Make donations through a secure website. A simple way to check for security is to make sure that "https" is listed in the URL (web address).