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ACNC: things donors can do to donate with confidence

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Scams can undermine the good work of genuine charities and take advantage of the generosity of Australians.

Fake charity scammers will steal by posing as a genuine charity, either in person or online. These scams can cost individuals money, while also diverting funds and donations away from legitimate causes and charities.

In 2018-19, Scamwatch received 996 reports of fake charity scams, with a total recorded loss of more than $300,000.

Telephone scams were the most common, with 394 reports, followed by emails with 169 reports and in person scams with 146 reports. Those contacted on the internet suffered the highest losses, totalling more than $105,000.

According to Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, there are a few things that donors can do to donate with confidence to a registered charity.

This include avoiding clicking unknown links or providing payment details over the phone when approached to make a donation, and never sending money or give personal information, credit card details or online account details to anyone.

ACNC said that if  approached by a street collector, donors should ask to see their identification, and if in doubt, they should not pay. If approached in person,  donors can ask the collector for details about the charity such as its full name, address and how the proceeds will be used. If they become defensive and cannot answer questions, donors can close the door or walk away.

A full list of legitimate charities can be found in the ACNC Charity portal.

“If you have been the victim of a scam, or you are suspicious of a request to donate, report it to Scamwatch”, ACNC said in its media release. Reporting a scam helps the ACCC to warn people about current scams, monitor trends and disrupt scams where possible.

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