And you wonder why some people are averse to giving to charitable causes. Every time we hear of a large scale catastrophe, we also hear of charities stepping up and doing their share to help the people who have been affected. But then, we also hear of those unscrupulous people who try to take advantage of the whole situation.
Take for example the latest disaster to hit parts of Australia. Bushfires have left countless of people homeless. Others have lost more than their homes; they lost family members and friends to the raging fires. Naturally, charities are stepping up their efforts to raise funds to help those in need.
Then scammers enter the picture. Late last week, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission sent out a public warning that “scammers could take advantage of the situation.” Live News reports:
In the wake of previous disasters, such as the 2003 Canberra bushfires, scammers collected money after pretending to represent legitimate charities.
ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel has warned that scammers could use door knocks, emails or even approach people in the street asking for money.
While giving to charity is admirable, you should not leave yourself vulnerable to scammers. What can you do to avoid being victimized?
One, always ask for appropriate identification. This, however, is not foolproof. IDs can be forged any time. It would be better to seek the official channels of charity and give your donations there. Instead of merely handing out your donations to anyone who approaches you, look for registered charities and make sure that the money or goods that you donate reach the appropriate people.
Originally posted on February 17, 2009 @ 2:32 am