The ACCC is warning the community, including small businesses, to be careful when making donations to support bushfire charities and fund raising initiatives.
Scammers are targeting people by pretending to represent legitimate or well-known charities or fund raising organisations, or by setting up their own fake fund raising pages on social media and fund raising platforms.
You can report scams to Scamwatch using our web form. You can also report bushfire related scams by calling our dedicated hotline on 1300 795 995.
The following tips can help protect you against scammers:
- Do not donate via fund raising 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 also come from scammers. Check the terms and conditions of fund raising platforms and ensure you are dealing with official organisations. If you are unsure make your donation to an established charity instead.
- If you are donating to an established charity or not-for-profit organisation, ensure it is registered by searching the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) charity register and check that you are on its official website.
The ACNC also provides information and tips for charities who want to support disaster relief. If you are a registered charity you can find some useful information on the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s website about offers of assistance and donations.
You can find more information on bushfires and scams on the Scamwatch website.