People are being urged to watch out for charity scams as fraudsters try to take advantage of those wishing to donate money to New Zealand earthquake relief funds. [1 March 2011]
Scam emails are being sent from fraudsters, often pretending to be from legitimate charities such as the Red Cross, asking people to make donations via a bogus website.
Victims are asked to enter their credit card details onto the site. These details can then be used by fraudsters to steal money in the person’s name.
Using legitimate charity names
So far scams have been reported that use the names of legitimate charities British Red Cross and Donation4Charity. Charity-givers are being warned that fraudsters could use the name of any legitimate charity to trick them out of money.
Exercise caution, but don’t be put off by donating to charity
Those who wish to make a donation should not be deterred by these fraudulent attempts. Instead, donors should visit the known, legitimate websites of charities collecting money for the New Zealand earthquake cause to make a donation. Alternatively, they should phone the known and legitimate phone number of the charity in question (and NOT the one listed in a potentially fraudulent email).
Read more about New Zealand earthquake scams on Donation4Charity’s website.
Please note: Action Fraud is not responsible for the content on external websites.
To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.