Charity regulator warns consumers be alert to fake charities

July 29th, 2014

The National Breast Cancer Foundation is urging supporters to exercise caution when approached by organisations soliciting donations and to follow several steps to ensure that they are donating to legitimate donors.

In a recent statement  ACNC Commissioner Susan Pascoe AM says the national charity regulator has been made aware of several for-profit companies, with names similar to the names of well-known charities, soliciting donations from the public.

“These organisations may sound and behave like charities, but in fact they are not registered charities and they may not have state fundraising licences.

“In some cases the organisations will ask for donations face-to-face or over the phone, in other cases they may run businesses using donated clothing.”

“The best way to check whether you are supporting a registered charity is to search the ACNC’s Charity Register at acnc.gov.au/findacharity,” Ms Pascoe advised.

There are other ways that can help donors feel confident that they’re giving to legitimate organisations:

  1. Always ask for identification from door to door and street fundraising collectors
  2. If contacted by phone ask for a return phone number before you consider providing any personal, credit card or online account details
  3. Ask for a receipt. Make sure it has the charity’s details on it including an ABN
  4. Do not provide your personal, credit card or online account details unless you know it is a trusted source
  5. Do not open suspicious or unsolicited emails – delete them
  6. If you think that there is something wrong, contact the charity directly and alert them of your concerns
  7. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission also has plenty of useful information.