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Don’t gift your money to a scam charity this holiday season

21 December 2018

Queenslanders donating to charity are being warned to be on the lookout for scammers trying to take advantage of their generosity.

Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said people looking to help out those less fortunate this Christmas period could take simple measures to avoid donating funds to a fake.

“Make sure you always look twice at a request for donations, whether it be from a collector on the street or knocking on your door, or a plea for assistance on social media or via email,” Mr Bauer said.

“Don’t take requests for donations at face value. Be suspicious if a charity collector approaches you without identification, or refuses to give you a proper receipt.

“Scammers will often use the name of a legitimate and well-respected charity, and send very realistic emails, social media posts or text messages to get you to donate.

“No matter how convincing the story presented to you by a collector in person, online, or over the phone, it’s important to take a step back and do your checks before you hand over a donation.

“Never click on a link that is sent to you. Instead do your research to make sure you are visiting your chosen charity’s legitimate website, or call their listed number and donate to them directly.

“Remember, organisations that wish to fundraise from the public in Queensland must be registered with the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), or be authorised by an already registered charity.

“You can check if a charity is authorised to fundraise in Queensland via the OFT website.”

For further information, or to search the OFT’s register visit www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading.