If you’re planning to donate to a bushfire appeal check whether the organisers are legitimate so your money reaches the victims, not scammers.
In recent summers we’ve seen devastating natural disasters. We’ve also seen scammers try and capitalise on these tragic events as soon as they happen.
Scammers will use many guises to try and trick you into misplacing your generosity. The ACCC has received reports that social media sites are being used to seek donations purportedly to support those affected by bushfires. Other people report having been approached by phone, email and face-to-face. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees these funds will find their way to those you intended.
The South Australian Country Fire Service also recently warned about reports received from the public about door-knockers claiming to represent the service and seeking to collect cash donations. In fact, the SA CFS doesn’t actually door-knock to seek donations. Not only do these types of scams cost people money, they also divert much-needed donations away from genuine causes.
There are many legitimate organisations that provide much-needed assistance to those affected by the natural disasters. If you’re looking to help people in need, donate freely but wisely by making sure your donation goes to a legitimate charity by following these tips.
Dr Michael Schaper
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission