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Charities use tracking system to block scam artists

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BATON ROUGE - The holiday season is when many open their hearts and wallets to the less fortunate, but it also brings out people who try to take advantage of their kindness.

However, many local charities have a system to make sure people use, but don't abuse, your generosity.  St. Vincent de Paul has been using one such system for eight years now.

"We use a homeless management information system (HMIS)," said Micheal Acoldo, CEO of St. Vincent de Paul. "It's a system that helps us track the people we assist"

Acoldo says St. Vincent's and about 40 other charities in Greater Baton Rouge use that system to communicate with each other, and make sure they're not duplicating effort.

"So they can't get rental assistance from us and then across the street to a church and get more money for the same thing," he said. "Does it happen often? No, It's actually the exception."

People News 2 spoke to who were taking lunch at the St. Vincent de Paul dining room today said they don't mind being tracked.

"I think it's good because that way people know where there money is going," said one gentleman, "and it helps people like me to get what I need."

St. Vincent de Paul has use the HMIS tracking system for about 8 years.

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