12/22/2011 09:15 am ET

Charity Scams: 5 Ways To Avoid Giving To Fraudulent Causes This Holiday Season (SLIDESHOW)

At a time when a record number of families are facing poverty and donations are down across the charity board, nonprofits are eagerly looking to the giving season for a much-needed contribution boost. But, scammers are also fired up to for the holiday season, a time when they can lure generous donors into their charity schemes.

"Every individual gift, every charitable dollar is more precious to these charities than ever before," Ken Berger, CEO of Charity Navigator, told the Huffington Post. "Making the right decision, that you get to the high performing really important."

The Huffington Post sat down with the CEO of Charity Navigator, an organization that rates nonprofits' effectiveness, to find out which common scams to look out for this holiday season.