Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. Alert: Australian Bushfires and ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.

An Alert from the Official ScamWatch https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/

Australian Bushfires Spawn Scammers Too!

The start of 2020 has not been an easy one for Australia, particularly those impacted by the bushfires. Australia’s office government Scamwatch is warning all Australians to be on the lookout for fundraising scams and do their research when donating so that money can get to those who are in need, rather than those who would take advantage.

Following every disaster, it is natural to want to help and donate as quickly as possible. However, scammers also follow disasters in order to take advantage of the generosity of Australians and good people around the world.

These scammers will most often pretend to be associated with well-known charities, large businesses or government departments to make them look legitimate.

Scamwatch has seen many types of scams spring up in response to the bushfires, including:

  • Calls and text messages impersonating businesses or government organizations seeking ‘donations’ that they will be sending on to well-known charities.
  • Business email compromise scams where the scammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. impersonates a high-level employee in a business claiming the business will be making a donation to the bushfires to the scammers account.
  • Individuals on social media and crowdfunding sites claiming to be fundraising where it is dubious that the money raised will actually be donated.
  • ImpersonationImpersonation An impersonator is someone who imitates or copies the behavior or actions of another. There are many reasons for impersonating someone, such as: part of a criminal act such as identity theft, online impersonation scam, or other fraud. This is usually where the criminal is trying to assume the identity of another, in order to commit fraud, such as accessing confidential information or to gain property not belonging to them. Also known as social engineering and impostors. of real charities via calls, text, and even in person through door to door charity appeals.
  • Individuals claiming to be relatives of those affected by the bushfires seeking donations.

Ensure your money gets to those who need it by following this advice:

  • 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 also come from scammers. Check the terms and conditions of funding platforms and ensure you are dealing with official organizations. 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 to do your research and donate directly to registered charities.
  • You can look up registered charities on the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commissions website