How to recognise fraudulent online appeals
On 11 September Roskachestvo (The Russian Department for Quality Control) issued advice on how to distinguish genuine appeals for help from attempts by fraudsters to play on people’s emotions and persuade them to give away their money.
Roskachestvo warns that people should not believe everything they read on social networks. “Fraudsters often deceive people by claiming to be raising money for legitimate causes. They post lies on internet sites that reach a large audience and manage to get away with their deception because too few people check whether their claims are genuine. Criminals manage to appeal to decent people’s sense of compassion and then rob them of hundreds of millions of roubles every day.
Roskachestvo has therefore issued advice on how to recognise legitimate appeals for charity. The advice concerns the transfer of funds to charities and donations to private individuals. The safest way to donate is to send money through large and approved charities, including organisations that have signed up to the Declaration on the Basic Principles of Transparency for NGOs.
If you receive a link to the fundraising page of an individual person, you must ring up before you make the transfer and make sure it is genuine. It is also important to check the bank details given, which can be done with an ordinary search engine.
You can see the full list of recommendations on Roskachestvo’s official website.
Ilya Loevsky, Deputy Head of Roskachestvo, concluded, “If you have been scammed in the past by a fraudster, you should continue to give to good causes, but make sure you find out how to avoid being defrauded again. Before transferring the money, make sure the information is genuine, study the charity website carefully and follow our recommendations.”