DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced Thursday that five people are named in a lawsuit for allegedly operating a scam.

Yost said in a release that a Franklin County Common Pleas Court judge ordered articles of incorporation. None of the organizations are said to be affiliated with the actual established charities that have similar names.

The groups the judge ordered include the American Cancer Society of Cincinnati Inc., American Cancer Society of Cleveland Inc. and American Cancer Society of Ohio Inc. Additionally, the American Cancer Foundation of Cincinnati Inc., American Cancer Foundation of Cleveland Inc., American Cancer Foundation of Ohio Inc., American Cancer Foundation of Columbus Inc. and United Way of Ohio Inc. are also included in the organization list ordered for their articles of incorporation to be canceled.

“These scammers were pretending to be big-time charities to swindle money from Ohioans,” Yost said. “But playtime is over, and the jig is up on your sham operation.”

Yost said the judge’s judgment makes it to that all five of the defendants in the case are banned from incorporating, organizing or serving in any fiduciary capacity for any charitable organization.

If you are wondering how you can safely donate to a charity, you are encouraged to utilize the virtual tools, which will show you a few different things. By using the tools, you are able to check the status of a charity of whether it is in compliance with registration requirements, review annual reports of the charity, view who the charity employs for professional fundraisers and what percentage of proceeds actually go towards the charity.

You will also be able to review safety tips for giving to a charitable organization.