Charities Warned on International Scam
26 May 2015 at 10:36 am
Australian charities have been warned to be on the lookout for a funding scam that has originated in the United Kingdom and has already targeted charities in the United States.
Australia’s charity regulator, the ACNC, said the UK Charity Commission had received reports that charities in the United States were contacted by a fake UK charity trying to obtain their bank details under the guise of wanting to make a large gift or donation.
“The scammers are reported to have used false documentation which included the Charity Commission’s logo in some instances, along with a forged staff signature,” the ACNC said.
“While it’s not believed the scam has made its way to Australia yet, charities are urged to remain vigilant against scammers and report any suspicious behaviour to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.”
The UK Charity Commission gave more details of the international scam saying it is designed to trick religious foundations in particular, in the USA and the UK.
“The foundations were contacted with news that they were due to receive a large gift or donation from an organisation promoted as being a legitimate and registered charity in the UK, which did not exist,” the UK Charity Commission said.
“In this instance, in an attempt to make the scam appear more credible, the fraudster used false documentation showing parts of the commission’s logo and a forged staff signature. The regulator was contacted by a number of concerned individuals.”
The UK Charity Commission has not revealed the names of any of the charities that were approached in the scam.