Following the Bourke Street tragedy in Melbourne on January 20 a fund was set up by the Victorian Government to help the families affected.
It didn’t take long for scammers to try to get a piece of the action.
Marlene Kairouz, Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation took to Facebook to warn people callers were seeking donations, and only to donate to the real fund.
“Do not give your personal details, bank details or credit card details to anyone who calls asking for donations to the Bourke Street Fund – they are scammers,” MP Marlene Kairouz said in a statement.
Consumer Affairs Victoria also posted on Facebook a warning of people receiving bogus calls, offering the same advice of where to donate.
On that same post replies from the community made reference to GoFundMe accounts also set up that were of concern.
Disaster and tragedy often brings out the best of people but also the worst; and this is not the first time an event like this has attracted scammers; and you may not even know it has happened.
Following Malaysian Airlines MH17 tragedy scammers set up fake Facebook sites, encouraging people to head to the site for up-to-date information.
Instead they got a series of pop-up advertisements, and if users clicked on them the scammers made money.
Sites like these can also contain malware which installs on the users computer allowing the scammer to obtain personal information.
Other ways scammers target is via emails, blogs or sites claiming to raise money for a charity or affected families; often with the money going right into the pocket of the scammer instead.
It doesn’t mean you should not give where and when needed.
If you do it the the right way, and at the right place, you won’t have the same problems, so do your research before handing over your generous donation.
The Victorian Government pledged an initial $100,000 to their fund and said anyone who wanted to make a donation can do so.
Information about their real fund can be found HERE.