Fraud experts and cybercrime agencies have warned of bogus animal welfare charities appealing for public donations on social media. The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and local police forces have received increasing reports about the social media animal charity fraud. Criminals operating overseas are using bogus animal welfare charities to raise money, simply to supplement their incomes, while claiming to work to tackle animal cruelty. Despite reports of various charities being used as fronts, the vast majority of posts relate to animal welfare charities. The NFIB has warned that the animal welfare charity scam is run by organised crime groups, working together in the UK and abroad. Through sophisticated networks, the charity fraudsters conduct money laundering, transferring the proceeds of their crimes across international boundaries. Furthermore, the NFIB and local police forces have reiterated the need for the public to remain wary of animal welfare charities appealing for donations on social media. Our list of tips below will help keep you safe from the animal charity fraudsters.

How To Stay Safe from Animal Welfare Charity Fraudsters

Check the charity’s details – legitimate charities will be registered with the Charity Commission and will include their details on all forms of electronic and paper correspondence.

Contact the Charity Commission – you can contact the Charity Commission directly to confirm a charity’s authenticity by telephone (0845 300 0218) or by visiting the charity register on the Charity Commission’s official website.

Establish authorisation for collection – while the charity you may be donating to is genuine, the person collecting for them may not be. Check with the charity directly, to establish that the collection point through which you are donating is authorised.

Spelling, punctuation and grammar – dodgy appeals for charities, as demonstrated in the reports related to the animal welfare charity fraud, often contain spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes. Be sure to read over any appeals, in case you might have missed an obvious mistake. This is usually a tell-tale sign that something is not right.