By Juliano Oliveira
The Queensland Government and the ACCC (Australian Competition & Consumer Commission) are warning people to be aware of fake campaigns posing as donation collectors for the victims of the bushfires.
Scammers are allegedly creating their own organisations and presenting themselves as legitimate well-known charities. By impersonating victims impacted by the disaster, these defrauders are tricking people into giving money to the bushfire cause.
Acting Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Mark Ryan said scammers were known to take advantage of public generosity during and after disasters.
“If you want to make a donation to a bushfire appeal, you can do a free online check to see if the organisation conducting the appeal is legitimate.”
“Organisations wanting to publicly fundraise in Queensland must be registered with the Office of Fair Trading or authorised by a registered charity to act on their behalf.”
“Don’t give money to collectors who want cash only, won’t provide a receipt, or give a receipt that doesn’t display details of the appeal,” he said.
People can 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.
If you think you have paid money to a scammer, please contact your bank immediately.