26 September 2023

Commission warns on fake flood charities

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As floods and storms impact south eastern communities, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) is urging people to check its Charity Register before donating to a charity or appeal.

Acting Commissioner at ACNC, Deborah Jenkins said it was a sad common for fake charities and fundraisers to emerge in the wake of natural disasters.

“Unfortunately, we know from previous natural disasters that scammers will try to take advantage of our generosity,” A/Commissioner Jenkins said.

“Many people have lost their homes and businesses in these recent floods and there are so many other significant impacts on people’s lives,” she said

“Of course, we all want to help. However, it is very important to take a moment to check the ACNC Charity Register.”

A/Commissioner Jenkins said that with a few clicks people could verify a lot of information about a charity to ensure their money or goods went to a registered organisation that was transparent and followed the rules.

“Australian charities rely on the public having confidence in them to support their work, and we rely on them to provide assistance to those most in need during difficult times,” she said.

Before making a donation, the A/Commissioner recommended donors look for established, registered charities running verified appeals, check if the organisation was on the ACNC Charity Register and look at details about its main work.

She warned people not to click on links in unsolicited emails and social media posts, “which may take you to a fake, scam website.”

“Don’t give your credit card and bank account details on social media and be cautious online,” A/Commissioner Jenkins said.

“If you get a call claiming to be from a charity, say you’ll call back.

“Search the Charity Register and call back on the number shown there,” she said.

The ACNC Charity Register can be accessed at this PS News link.

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