The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has warned of scams amid the recent fundraising appeals for the Australian bushfires.
According to the ACCC, people should protect themselves using the following information:
- Scammers are pretending to be legitimate well-known charities, creating their own charity names, and impersonating people negatively impacted by the bushfires.
- Scammers are cold-calling, direct messaging and creating fake websites and pages on social media to raise funds.
- Do not donate via fundraising pages on platforms that do not verify the legitimacy of the fundraiser or that do not guarantee your money will be returned if the page is determined to be 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 an established charity instead.
- If you are donating to an established charity or not-for-profit organisation, ensure it is registered and that you are on its official website by searching the Australia Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Charity Register.
- If you think you have paid money to a scammer, please contact your bank immediately.
The ACCC has set up a dedicated phone number for the public to report bushfire related scams. Please call 1300 795 995 to report.
For more information click here.