Scammers pose as real charity raising funds for flood victims
- Scammers have set up fake Instagram account leedal_foundation_limited
- The real Leedal Foundation Limited is raising funds for flood victims in Fitzoy Crossing on their Facebook fundraiser page
- Consumers urged to only donate to licensed charities or official fundraisers and not to respond to private messages
Consumer Protection is warning consumers about scammers who are posing as a legitimate registered charity in Fitzroy Crossing, and using a fake Instagram account - leedal_foundation_limited - asking donors to buy Amazon ecards.
Leedal Pty Ltd is an Indigenous-owned organisation in Fitzroy Crossing and Leedal Foundation Limited is their registered charity. The charity has so far raised over $66,000 through their Facebook fundraiser page to directly benefit flood-affected people in Fitzroy Crossing who may not have insurance and have lost their homes and belongings.
The scammers have targeted people who have already donated to the Leedal Foundation Limited’s fundraiser page on Facebook by sending them a private message through the fake Instagram page thanking them for their donation. When the donor replies, they then lure potential victims in by asking if they would like to further assist victims with items they need by purchasing Amazon ecards.
Leedal Foundation Limited has confirmed they do not have an Instagram account and are shocked that scammers are trying to benefit from the devastating impact the floods have had on people in the Kimberley.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Trish Blake said it is extremely unfortunate but scammers often emerge in the wake of these disasters to steal money from donors and the intended recipients.
“Scammers will often use social media to lure victims in as it can easily appear like a legitimate charity or fundraiser, this particular case demonstrates how important it is to be careful online,” Ms Blake said.
“Consumers should never respond to random messages on social media and do not hand over personal information including email addresses, phone numbers or bank details to people you do not know.
“Those wishing to help flood victims should not buy gift cards from people they don’t know and should only donate to licensed charities or official fundraisers such as the Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund or through Leedal Foundation Limited’s Facebook fundraiser page.
“To further protect yourself before donating, check that an established charity or not-for-profit organisation is licensed with Consumer Protection or registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).”
If consumers believe they have lost money to a fake charity scam or become aware of a scam, report it to WA ScamNet online at www.scamnet.wa.gov.au or call 1300 30 40 54.
Media Contact: Jasmine Sidhu, (08) 6552 9233 / 0423 846 397 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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