Donors Warned of NZ Earthquake Email Scams
24 February 2011 at 10:32 am
Just days after the devastating Christchurch earthquake, the New Zealand Charities Commission has issued a warning to donors to beware of emails from unknown people asking for donations to support the Canterbury relief campaign.
The Commission says scam emails are already circulating, pretending to come from a charity or charitable fundraiser, claiming they are collecting money to help people affected by the Canterbury earthquakes.
Commission chief executive Trevor Garrett says that one such spam email is from a “James McCoy” of “Donation4Charity”.
It calls for people to receive donated funds into their bank account from overseas, in return for a 10% cut. Garrett says the Commission recommends people immediately delete emails received from this source, and any others from people or organisations you don’t know and can’t verify, asking you for money.
He says it is very disappointing at a time when of such a terrible tragedy that some people would want to take advantage of the generosity of others, and steal much-needed funds away from legitimate charities who are helping people in need.
Garrett says typically, such scam emails mention well-regarded legitimate charities – but their real aim is to harvest bank account details and money.
The warning comes as the New Zealand Red Cross Canterbury Earthquake Commission released an interim report into its management of the $22 million raised for the September Canterbury Earthquake Appeal.
The National Board of New Zealand Red Cross established the Commission, with the
agreement of the three Mayors from the affected region, to oversee the appeal for funds
and subsequent disbursement of them.
The report says one hundred percent of donations to the appeal are earmarked for those affected by the first earthquake. Administering the appeal and grants process has cost an estimated $300,000 to date, all of which has been met by Red Cross.
The full report can be viewed at www.redcross.org.nz
Red Cross New Zealand and the Mayor Fund are coordinating fundraising for this latest earthquake.
A 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit the Canterbury area at 12.51pm on February 22. The quake’s epicentre was approximately 5km underground and located 10km south east of the city. Some 75 deaths have been reported with up to 300 people still missing. The Mayor of Christchurch, Bob Parker, has declared a state of emergency.
For information on the Earthquake response see http://canterburyearthquake.org.nz/