The start of 2020 has not been an easy one for Australia, particularly those impacted by the bushfires. Scamwatch is warning all Australians to be on the lookout for fundraising scams and do their research when donating so that money can get to those who are in need, rather than those who would take advantage.
Following every disaster it is natural to want to help and donate as quickly as possible. However, scammers also follow disasters in order to take advantage of the generosity of Australians.
These scammers will most often pretend to be associated with well-known charities, large businesses or government departments to make them look legitimate.
Minderoo Foundation chairman Andrew Forrest and his family have been targeted with their images used as part of these scams.
Scamwatch has seen many types of scams spring up in response to the bushfires, including:
Ensure your money gets to those who need it by following this advice:
If you believe you donated to a scam you should:
The ACCC has also set up a dedicated phone number for the public to report bushfire-related scams. People can call 1300 795 995 to report these scams.