Sadly it hasn’t been a good start to 2020 for many Australians, particularly those who have been impacted by Australia’s recent weather events and the current global pandemic.   With this, we have seen a rise in “fundraising activities and donations” to those who have suffered a loss.

It’s the Australian way – a natural response and willingness to donate, however unfortunately many scammers follow disasters, in order to take advantage of the public’s generosity.

The scammers often pretend to associate themselves with well-known charities, large businesses or government departments to make them seem and look legitimate. They seek donations that they will “send on”.

Business email compromise scams are also on the rise, where the scammer impersonates a high level employee in a business, claiming the business will make a donation to a specific cause (when in actual fact the money goes to the scammers account).

Social media and crowdfunding sites often host “rogue” scammers who claim the money will be donated as well.

According to Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) Scamwatch, following this advice will ensure your money gets to those who need it:

  • Do not donate via fundraising pages on platforms that do not verify the legitimacy of the fundraiser, or that do not guarantee your money will be returned if the page is determined to be fraudulent.
  • Be careful about crowdfunding requests as these may be fake and can sometimes come from scammers.  Check the terms and conditions of funding platforms to ensure you are dealing with official organisations.   If you are unsure, make your donation to an established charity instead.
  • The best way to avoid scams and make sure your dollars get where they are needed, is,  –  do your research and donate directly to registered charities.

A link to a list of registered charities on the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commissions website is here.

Scams are continually on the rise and unfortunately take place when people or businesses are most vulnerable.   If you haven’t considered Cyber Insurance for your business, contact Citycover today on (07) 3270 1500.