Bushfire relief puts
Consumers considering donating to bushfire relief efforts have been urged to make sure their money goes to a legitimate charity, cause or appeal.
scan on scammers
SCAMwatch released a statement warning that there were scammers looking to take advantage of those wanting to help people affected by the summer bushfires.
“Scammers have been known to take advantage of people’s generosity in the aftermath of disastrous events, including bushfires such as the devastating Victorian bushfires that struck in 2009,” SCAMwatch said.
It said not only did such scams cost people money, they also diverted much needed donations away from legitimate causes.
“If you are considering making a donation to a bushfire appeal, donate wisely by thoroughly checking that you are donating to a legitimate organisation,” it said.
“Don’t let scammers appeal to your generous side.”
It said people should be wary if they were approached on the street, at their doorstep, on the phone or via email by someone claiming that they were collecting on behalf of a legitimate cause or charity - or a fictitious one they had created.
“If you are approached on the street or at home, the ‘collector’ may not have any identification or has forged identification, and lack a detailed knowledge about the charity they claim to represent,” SCAMwatch said.
“If you are approached online, you may be directed to a website that looks much like those operated by real charities, with official looking logos and information, but which in fact is subtly different.”
It said street or doorstep “collectors” may only accept cash donations or insist that any cheque be made out to them rather than the charity.
“They may also try to avoid providing you with a receipt, or provide one without the charity’s details on it,” it said.
“The online scammer will insist on payment by a money transfer service.
“It is rare to recover any money sent this way.”
SCAMwatch recommended that anyone considering donating to a charity should check their credentials first at the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission website.
The website can be accessed at this PS News link.
Edition 345, 22 January 2013