Some fraudsters are taking advantage of the increase in charity donations made during the coronavirus outbreak. They can set up fake charities or impersonate well-known charity names.
The risk of fraud should not put you off giving to charities. They do really important work, helping those in the greatest need. However, you should be vigilant and make sure you are giving safely to legitimate organisations. Don’t let the money you donate to charity end up in a criminal’s pocket.
- Check the charity name and registration number at gov.uk/checkcharity.
- You can also check if a charity is registered with the Fundraising Regulator as committed to good fundraising practice at fundraisingregulator.org.uk/directory.
- Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.
- Make sure the charity is genuine before giving any financial information. Look for the registered charity number on their website and beware of any online advertisements that just feature a mobile number.
- To donate online, type in the charity website address yourself rather than clicking on a link. Ignore requests to donate through a money transfer company as this is a popular scam.
- Contact, or find out more online, about the charity that you want to donate to or work with.
- Be more cautious about fundraising appeals with generic wording, such as ‘to help people with COVID-19’. Ask what exactly the money would be used for and who by.
After making these checks, if you think that a fundraising appeal is fake, report it to Action Fraud.