Scams can undermine the good work of genuine charities and take advantage of Australians' generosity. 

Fake charity scammers will steal by posing as a genuine charity, either in person or online.  Scams can cost individuals a lot, but they also divert funds and donations away from legitimate causes and charities.

In 2018-19, the federal government's Scamwatch received 996 reports of fake charity scams.  More than $300,000 was lost.

Telephone scams were reported 394 times, emails 169 and in-person 146.  Those contacted on the internet suffered the highest losses, totalling more than $105,000.

To avoid scams, donors should:

  • Avoid clicking on unknown links or providing payment details over the phone when approached to make a donation
  • Never send money or give personal information, credit-card details and online account details to anyone you don't know or trust
  • If you are approached by a street collector, ask to see their identification.  If you have any doubts about who they are, do not pay
  • If you are approached in person, ask the collector for details about the charity such as its full name, address and how the proceeds will be used.  If they become defensive and cannot answer your questions, close the door or walk away, and
  • Search the ACNC Charity Register at to determine if an organisation is legitimate.

 If you have been the victim of a scam or you are suspicious about a request to donate, report it to Scamwatch.  Reporting a scam helps the Australian Consumer & Competition Commission to monitor trends and disrupt scams.  It also helps in warning others.

For more information about scam activity or to report a scam, visit