Bushire do­na­tion warn­ing

Canning Gazette - - NEWS -

CON­SUMER Pro­tec­tion has warned peo­ple want­ing to do­nate to bush­fire vic­tims to check the cre­den­tials of char­i­ties.

Fundrais­ers have also been re­minded they need a li­cence or a li­censed char­ity to be in­volved to col­lect money for a char­i­ta­ble pur­pose.

Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Com­mis­sioner David Hill­yard said with mul­ti­ple fundrais­ing cam­paigns pop­ping up, there was a risk that the money raised might fall into the wrong hands.

“Heart­less scam­mers see dis­as­ters such as the bush­fires as an op­por­tu­nity to cap­i­talise on the com­mu­nity’s gen­eros­ity and profit out of other peo­ple’s mis­for­tune by cre­at­ing fake char­i­ties on­line via so­cial me­dia or fake web­sites,” Mr Hill­yard said.

“It’s dou­bly cruel be­cause not only does it con the donor out of their money, it also de­nies the true cause much-needed funds for those im­pacted by the dis­as­ter.”

Mr Hill­yard said donors should stick with well-known char­i­ties such as the Red Cross and Sal­va­tion Army and do­nate via their web­sites. They should not re­spond to ran­dom emails or texts that may be from scam­mers im­per­son­at­ing es­tab­lished char­i­ties and con­tain links to fake sites.

Peo­ple or or­gan­i­sa­tions in WA want­ing to raise funds via so­cial me­dia or door-to-door are re­quired to have a li­cence or to work with a li­censed char­ity with their per­mis­sion. They must show some iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and an author­ity from a li­censed char­ity.

“We don’t want to dampen the en­thu­si­asm, com­pas­sion or gen­eros­ity of the com­mu­nity, but there needs to be pro­tec­tions in place es­pe­cially when large amounts of money are be­ing col­lected,” Mr Hill­yard said.

“We have had many calls from WA peo­ple con­fused about where to do­nate and con­cerned about giv­ing to the wrong char­ity. If in doubt you can call Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion to ver­ify that the char­ity is gen­uine.”

Donors who be­lieve they have lost money to a fake char­ity scam should call WA Scam­net for as­sis­tance on 1300 30 40 54.

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