As floods and storms impact communities in parts of New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria, Australians are being urged to check the Charity Register before donating to a charity or appeal.
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Acting Commissioner (ACNC) Deborah Jenkins said it is sadly common for fake charities and fundraisers to emerge in the wake of natural disasters.
“Unfortunately, we know from previous natural disasters that scammers will try to take advantage of our generosity. Many people have lost their homes and businesses in these recent floods and there are so many other significant impacts on people’s lives. Of course, we all want to help,” Ms Jenkins said.
“However, it is very important to take a moment to check the ACNC Charity Register. With a few clicks you can verify a lot of information about a charity to ensure your money or goods will go to a registered organisation that is transparent and follows the rules that registered charities are required to follow.
“Australian charities rely on the public having confidence in them to support their work, and we rely on them to provide assistance to those most in need during difficult times.”
Before you make a donation the ACNC recommends you:
- Look for established, registered charities running verified appeals.
- Do a quick check to see if the organisation is on the Charity Register and details about its main work.
- Don’t click on links in unsolicited emails and social media posts which may take you to a fake, scam website. Find the charity’s website in a search engine or on the Charity Register.
- Don’t give your credit card and bank account details on social media and be cautious online.
- If you get a call claiming to be from a charity, say you’ll call back. Search the Charity Register and call back on the number shown there.