Fake charity scams soar in times of crisis

The latest Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) data, released to mark the start of Scams Awareness Week, found the number of charity scams had risen nearly 70 per cent since 2019.

The increase was predominantly driven by charity frauds linked to the summer bushfire crisis. The ACCC’s Scamwatch received 1,081 reports of charity scams from 1 January to 31 July 2020, with losses of over $138,000, compared with 646 reports in the same time period with losses of over $277,000.  The higher losses in 2019 were due to a few large individual losses.

To protect your charity from scammers, the ACNC advises:

  • Have a clear point of contact on your website, promotional material, and social media channels.
  • Register with the ACNC so that donors can verify you’re legitimate on the ACNC website.
  • Avoid typos and try to have a consistent tone in your communications.
  • Keep an eye out – scammers may be running fraudulent campaigns under your name.
  • Report scams to Scamwatch, any crowdfunding sites and social media as soon as you see it.
  • List legitimate ways to accept donations on official websites or social media channels.

To view a full list of known charity scams, and for more information on how to stay safe, click here

For more information on the ACNC website please click here 

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