Republic of the Philippines
National Police Commission
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE
Camp BGen Rafael T Crame, Quezon City
ACG-CYBER SECURITY BULLETIN NR 152: UNDERSTANDING THE RISK OF ONLINE CHARITY FRAUD
Reference Number: ACG-CSB 121018152
The following information was obtained from different cyber security sources for notification to all parties concerned pursuant to the mandate of the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP ACG) and classified as “Restricted” pursuant to the PNP Regulation 200-012 on Document Security and Impact Rating as high based on PNP Information Communication Technology (ICT) Security
Charity fraud is the act of using deception to get money from people who believe they are making donations to charities. Often a person or a group of people will make material representations that they belong to a charitable institution and ask prospective donors for contributions. Charity fraud includes not only fictitious charities but also deceitful business acts. Deceitful business acts include businesses accepting donations and not using the money for its intended purposes.
Fake charities try to take advantage of your generosity and compassion for others in need. Scammers will steal your money by posing as a genuine charity. Not only do these scams cost you money, they also divert much needed donations away from legitimate charities and causes.
Fake charity approaches occur all year round and often take the form of a response to real disasters or emergencies, such as floods, earthquakes and fires.
Scammers will pose as either agents of legitimate well-known charities or create their own charity name. This includes charities that conduct medical research or support disease carriers and their families. They may also pose as individuals needing donations for health or other reasons.
Scammers may also play on your emotions by claiming to help in children.
Fake charities operate in many different ways. You may be approached on the street or at your front door by people collecting money. Scammers may also set up fake websites which looks similar to those operated by real charities. Some scammers may call or email you and request for donations.
Suppose you come across a charity and find no negative history, or not much history at all for that matter. Even if a new charity is legitimate, it's questionable that it has the infrastructure to effectively move the donations to the area or people in need.
All PNP personnel as well as the public are advised to follow the tips in order to avoid the risk of Online Charity Fraud, to wit:
- Donate to charitable institutions that you know and trust.
- Most legitimate charity websites use .org and not .com extension.
- Approach charity organizations directly to make a donation or offer support.
- Never send money or give personal information, credit card details or online account details to anyone you do not know or trust.
- Avoid any arrangement with a stranger who asks for up-front payment via money order, wire transfer, international funds transfer, pre-loaded card or electronic currency, like Bitcoin. It is not easy to recover money sent through these modus.
For additional information, please refer to the following websites:
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