Fake charities try to take advantage of your generosity and compassion for people in need. These criminals steal your money by posing as genuine charities – they keep your money and that also damages real charities who lose out on your donation.
Scammers are reusing old fake charity messages, just changing the words to suit fears over Coronavirus.
Scammers can pretend to be collection agents for charities or as fundraisers – sometimes of reputable charities and other times of ones they invent.
For Coronavirus, the most common approaches are pretending to be a charity researching medicine to treat the virus or as a research charity seeking to create a vaccine or more recently as a supplier of protective equipment for the health service.
People who receive the coronavirus-themed emails, texts and calls are usually asked to send Bitcoins to the senders, or sometimes to pay by money transfer service such as Money Transfer or to buy iTunes gift cards and tell them the card numbers.
If you receive such messages, do not give any money without checking the charity and the person are genuine. It’s better to approach a charity yourself than rely on emails, texts etc. from people you don’t know.
Legitimate charities are registered – you can check a registration at http://apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/ShowCharity/RegisterOfCharities/AdvancedSearch.aspx
Never send money or give personal information, credit card details or online account details to anyone you don’t know or trust.
If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.