People are being reminded to beware of scammers pretending to represent a charity or not-for-profit organisations.
SCAMwatch and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) say fake charities operate ina number of ways including approaching people in the street or home to collect money, contacting you be phone or email requesting donations or setting up fake websites which look similar to those operated by real charities.
Fake charities occue all year round but are also created in response to disasters such as floods, bushfires, earthquakes and cyclones. SCAMwatch has previously issued radars on charity scams related to the Central Queensland flood crisis, Victorian bushfire appeal and Haiti crisis.
SCAMwatch and ACNC advise people to approach charity donations directly to make a donation or offer support.
If people are approached by a collector, always ask to see their identification and check the ACNC register to see if the charity is listed. You should also call the charity to verify that the person represents their organisation.
People are also advised to never give out your personal, credit card or online account details unless you initiated contact and it is a trusted source and to not open open suspicious or unsolicited emails (spam). If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.
If you think you’ve spotted a scam, report a scam to SCAMwatch or contact the ACCC on 1300 795 995. You should also spread the word to your friends and family to protect them.