Scammers prey on our kindness and willingness to give to others. Unfortunately, Scammers may create fake charities or impersonate well-known charities to trick you into giving them money.
Charities may ask for one off donations or monthly direct debits. Consider your budget and what you feel comfortable. Remember, if you don’t have financial capacity to donate money, you can donate your time by volunteering or donating unused items from around your home; and if you have health clearance, you may choose to donate blood.
So, how can you protect yourself from becoming a victim of a charity scam?
- Be incredibly cautious of out of the blue telephone calls asking for money. If it is a well-known charity, you should end the call and contact the charity directly using details you find online or by contacting the Seniors Enquiry Line
- Research charities and causes that you feel passionate about and contact them directly
- Check that they are registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission
- Check that they are registered with the Office of Fair Trading
- Don’t give over any personal information including banking or contact details until you are sure that it is a registered charity
- Ensure you receive a receipt
If you would like to make a complaint about a fake charity you can contact the Office of Fair Trading on 13 74 68.
If you have any concerns that you have been taken advantage of by a scammer or you want to support to find registered charities to donate to, you can contact the Seniors Enquiry Line on 1300 135 500.