There has been recent media coverage about someone taking advantage of the generosity of Australians through social media, posing as an associate of a charity to request financial donations after a tragedy.
The ACNC Commissioner, the Hon Dr Gary Johns, spoke to Channel 7, Channel 9 and Melbourne’s 3AW and Triple M earlier today.
"It's a low act, and it's disappointing that someone would take advantage of the good nature of people in the face of tragedy for their own personal gain," Dr Johns said.
"Unfortunately, in some rare cases, well-known charities can be the subject of scammers - imposters, fake sites and fraudulent campaigns can be used to divert money away from legitimate causes."
"Don't be fooled - I encourage all donors to protect themselves and avoid being scammed."
If you are approached to donate to a charity, there are a few things you can do to ensure it is not a scam.
You may wish to search for the charity on the ACNC Charity Register – a charity’s Register listing will include verified contact details. Donors may also look for the ACNC's Registered Charity Tick, which gives reassurance to the public that a charity is transparent and accountable. Over 12,000 charities are displaying the Registered Charity Tick.
If you are looking to donate, avoid clicking links or providing financial information via messaging services or social media - it is best to visit a charity's website directly to ensure your donation is made safely and without risk to your personal information.
If you are suspicious of a request or think there is something wrong, the ACNC recommend that you contact the charity directly via the information on the Charity Register, and alert them to your concerns.
Alternatively, if you believe you have seen or fallen victim to a scam, you can report this to Scamwatch at scamwatch.gov.au.