Give Scammers Short Shrift This Easter Long Weekend

05 April 2023

The Andrews Labor Government is urging Victorians to be mindful of potential charity scams this long weekend, with many people choosing to dig deep over the Easter period.

The warning comes as Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) revealed 196 Victorians reported losses topping $93,000 to charity scams in 2022, up from $38,000 a year earlier.

Minister for Consumer Affairs Danny Pearson said charity scammers are finding new ways to operate with many making use of social media and fake websites, door-to-door donation requests, street canvassing or contacting people via email, text message or phone.

Last year CAV received a report of a person claiming to be from a well-known international charity to raise money for Ukraine, and another from a Victorian who had donated money to a scammer on Facebook who said they were doing a fundraising walk from Melbourne to Perth which did not occur.

A donor to an animal welfare centre received a call advising that their monthly payment had not been lodged, with a request to confirm credit card details over the phone. The caller knew the donor’s donation amount and frequency, but the donor had the foresight to check their bank statement, which confirmed the caller’s deception.

Victorians should know the signs of a scam to ensure their hard-earned money ends up in the right hands:

  • Question anyone who approaches you in an unsolicited manner – whether in person, online or via emails, calls, and text messages
  • Donate directly to the charity organisation
  • Ensure the charity is legitimate by asking for a receipt and checking the representative has proper identification.

Anyone who believes they may have donated to a charity scam should contact their bank or financial institution as they may be able to request a chargeback.

Charities in Australia are required to have an Australian Business Number and must be registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). To check if a charity is registered with the ACNC, visit Link .

For more information, or to report a charity scam to Consumer Affairs Victoria, visit Link or call 1300 55 81 81.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Consumer Affairs Danny Pearson

“Victorians dig deep at Easter – it’s a great feature of our state and something we can be proud of.”

“We wish everyone a fantastic long weekend but urge people to be aware of the tactics used by some to take advantage of our generosity.”

“Easter brings people together – let’s ensure that charity scammers don’t get the chocolates this year.”

Reviewed 05 April 2023

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