AUGUSTA — Maine state officials are urging residents to be cautious when making charitable donations this holiday season.

The Department of Financial Regulation says Mainers should always check to make sure unknown charities are legitimate before donating. Commissioner Anne Head says charitable solicitation scams sometimes increase during the holiday season and at the end of the year.

The department encourages residents to seek information about charities and ask state regulators about the legitimacy of a charity. All organizations are supposed to be licensed with the state.

Mainers should also keep receipts of any donations made.