A PHONE line for reporting scams relating to the bushfires raging in NSW and Victoria will launch tomorrow.
The ACCC has set up a dedicated phone line to report scams within the wide range of appeals raising funds for people and animals affected by the bushfires.
“Scammers are pretending to be legitimate well-known charities, creating their own charity names, and impersonating people negatively impacted by the bushfires,” the ACCC said.
“Scammers are cold-calling, direct messaging and creating fake websites and pages on social media to raise funds.
“Do not donate via fundraising pages on platforms that do not verify the legitimacy of the fundraiser or that do not guarantee your money will be returned if the page is determined to be fraudulent.
“People can make a report on the Scamwatch website, or find more information about where to get help.”
From January 7, people can call 1300 795 995 to report these scams.
You can report suspicious donation appeals related to the bushfires at https://t.co/sWWNpu8CRr. From Tuesday 7 January the ACCC will have a dedicated reporting line for bushfire related scams on 1300 795 995. For more information see https://t.co/aYNWkmWG5x pic.twitter.com/saSRR8SX4p
— Scamwatch_gov_au (@Scamwatch_gov) January 6, 2020
The ACCC advised everyone wishing to donate to be careful about crowdfunding requests as they may be fake.
“Check the terms and conditions of funding platforms and ensure you are dealing with official organisations,” the statement said.
“If you are unsure, make your donation to an established charity instead.
“If you are donating to an established charity or not-for-profit organisation, ensure it is registered and that you are on its official website by searching the Australia Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Charity Register.
“If you think you have paid money to a scammer, please contact your bank immediately.”