The public’s generosity when responding to a disaster or tragic event is seen by scammers as an opportunity to profit from other people’s misfortune. The best way to avoid being scammed, is to deal directly with licensed charities.
Follow these tips to ensure that your donations get to the right cause:
- If you are donating to a charity or not-for-profit organisation, ensure it is licensed with Consumer Protection to collect funds from the public in Western Australia. Refer to the licensed charity register.The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) also maintains a public register that lists the official website and contact details for all registered charities in Australia.
- Don’t respond to random emails or texts that may be from scammers impersonating an established charity as it may contain links that take you to fake websites.
- Do not donate via fundraising pages on platforms that do not verify the legitimacy of the fundraiser or do not guarantee your money will be returned if the page is fraudulent.
- Be careful about crowdfunding requests as these may be fake and also come from scammers. Check the terms and conditions of funding platforms and ensure you are dealing with official organisations. If you are unsure, make your donation to a licensed charity instead.
- It is safer to make a direct donation via the website instead of providing credit card information over the phone. Just make sure that you always donate through a secure payment process on the charity’s official webpage.
- If you think you have paid money to a scammer, contact your bank immediately.
Information about identified fake charity scams is available on the WA ScamNet website.