The national charity regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), is alerting the public to a charity scam involving a person falsely claiming that they are collecting donations on behalf of the NSW SES.
As the national charity regulator, the ACNC has a responsibility to inform the public of scams that could damage public trust and confidence in the charitable sector.
The NSW SES Gosford Unit has warned the public via their Facebook account that a person has been phoning residents in the local area seeking donations.
ACNC Commissioner, Susan Pascoe AM, said disasters can bring out the very best and the very worst in people.
“Australians are renowned for their generosity, donating billions of dollars to charity every year,” Ms Pascoe said.
“It is shocking that there are scammers out there prepared to take advantage of the public’s generous nature.
“By donating your time and money to a registered charity, you can ensure that your contributions are going to a legitimate cause.
“The ACNC Charity Register provides information on 59,000 charities, including who the charity benefits and where they operate.
“The NSW State Emergency Service Volunteers Associations (ABN 21688925780) is a charity registered with the ACNC and has deductible gift recipient status. If you would like to support the NSW SES financially or by volunteering, I encourage you to contact them directly.
“Members of the public can be assured that other charities assisting those affected by the storm in NSW are legitimate by searching the Charity Register at acnc.gov.au/findacharity.”
The ACNC encourages the public to take the following steps to ensure they are giving to legitimate charities:
- If you haven’t heard of an organisation that has called you, search for them on the Charity Register at acnc.gov.au/findacharity to check that they are registered.
- If you receive a call from someone claiming to represent a charity, call them back by searching for the charity on the Charity Register and use the phone number the ACNC has published.
- Do not provide your personal, credit card or online bank account details over the phone.
- Always ask for identification from door to door and street fundraising collectors.
- Do not open suspicious or unsolicited emails - delete them.
- If you think that there is something wrong, contact the charity directly and alert them of your concerns. You can also contact the ACNC on 13 ACNC (13 22 62).
To search the Charity Register, visit acnc.gov.au/findacharity
0404 115 471