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Beware Christmas Charity Scams

Christmas is a time for giving, and for many Australians that includes a donation to one or more charities.

However, it pays to do a few checks to make sure your festive donation is going to a good cause and not into the hands of scammer.

Unfortunately, phone, email, text and even face-to-face scams are becoming much more common. Scammers have sophisticated ways to make texts and emails look official, including links that look a lot like the real charity’s website but are actually fake.

To help people donate safely, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has provided the following tips1:

  • You can check if a charity is registered on the ACNC Charity Register, acnc.gov.au/findacharity
  • If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from a charity, ask to call them back. Search for the charity on the ACNC Charity Register and use the phone number published there to call them back.
  • Do not open suspicious or unsolicited emails – delete them.
  • If you receive an email from a known charity, visit their website directly or call them, do not use links in emails to make a donation.
  • Messages that contain spelling errors or sound unusual may be fake.
  • Always ask for identification from door-to-door and street fundraising collectors and check if the charity is genuine. If you need time to check, ask if you can make a donation by phone or online later.
  • If you think that there is something wrong, contact the charity directly and alert them to your concerns.
  • Visit the Australian Government’s Scamwatch website scamwatch.gov.au for a list of known scams and information on how to avoid scams.

For more information you can call ACNC on 13 22 62 or visit acnc.gov.au

1https://www.acnc.gov.au/media/news/charity-scams-rise