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SCARS™ Scam Alert: Australian Bushfires and Scams
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 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.
- Impersonation 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
If you believe you donated to a scam you should:
- Contact your bank to report the transaction immediately.
- Report the scam to the website it is hosted on.
- Make a report on the Scamwatch website, or find more information about where to get help.
The ACCC has also set up a dedicated phone number for the public to report bushfire related scams. People can call 1300 795 995 to report these scams.
TAGS: SCARS, Important Article, Information About Scams, Anti-Scam, Australian Scams, Australian Bushfire Scams, Natural Disaster Scams, Charity Scams,
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FAQ: How Do You Properly Report Scammers?
It is essential that law enforcement knows about scams & scammers, even though there is nothing (in most cases) that they can do.
Always report scams involving money lost or where you received money to:
- Local Police – ask them to take an “informational” police report – say you need it for your insurance
- U.S. State Police (if you live in the U.S.) – they will take the matter more seriously and provide you with more help than local police
- Your National Police or FBI « www.IC3.gov »
- The SCARS|CDN™ Cybercriminal Data Network – Worldwide Reporting Network on « www.Anyscam.com »
This helps your government understand the problem, and allows law enforcement to add scammers on watch lists worldwide.
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To learn more about SCARS visit « www.AgainstScams.org »
Please be sure to report all scammers
on « www.Anyscam.com »
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