Warning over bushfire charity scammers

Stock image.
Stock image.

WA’s Commissioner for Consumer Protection has issued a warning over scammers as the state enters bushfire season.

David Hillyard said scammers see bushfire season as “an opportunity to impersonate charities, or create fake charities”.

“This can happen online, via social media or website pop-ups, or in person, such as at your front door or on the street,” he said.

“It’s doubly cruel because not only does it con the donor out of their money, it also denies the true cause much-needed funds for those truly affected.”

Mr Hillyard said people could make sure their money goes to the right place by avoiding uninvited approaches and instead going to their chosen charity directly through contact details they are 100 per cent sure of.

“If you happen to respond to an out-of-the-blue email, phone call or face-to-face request, triple check it’s the real deal,” Mr Hillyard said.

“Online scammers might create a copycat version of a well-known charity website, so you need to be absolutely sure the url/web address you are using is the right one.

“Ask door-to-door collectors for their ID and if in doubt call the charity via the number listed on their official website to check if the person truly represents them.”

Consumer Protection has a list of licensed charities at their website.