Charity Commission warns of sham charity appeals

January 30, 2017   //   No Comments

The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, is issuing this alert to the public to raise awareness of these sham charity appeals:

1. Fake animal welfare charity overseas

The National Fraud Investigation Bureau has discovered that criminal groups based in Spain or Cyprus are using social media platforms to target donors from the UK.  The money is then laundered from the UK to overseas and rather than be used to tackle animal cruelty, these charitable funds are then diverted to support criminal activity, either here or on the continent.

2. Fake ‘Migrant Helpline’

Fraudsters are sending out a high number of phishing emails to personal and business email addresses purporting to be from ‘Migrant Helpline’ – charity email addresses could also be targeted.  Migrant Helpline is a genuine charity, but fraudsters have been using its name to trick members of the public into becoming victims of this fraud. It should be noted that this fraud is in no way related to the real charity.

Safer Giving

  • genuine charities are registered with the Charity Commission and print their registration details on all documentation, collection bags, envelopes, electronic communications etc – check these details exist and are genuine by visiting the Commission’s online Register of Charities
  • if the collection is for a charity that you know is genuine, check the collection is authorised by asking the charity directly, using verifiable contact details
  • watch out for poor grammar/ spelling in emails and other documents, including collection envelopes – this can be a tell-tale sign of fraudulent activity
  • Read more here.

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