Vinnies Issues Scam Warning

Scammers pretending to be from one of Australia’s largest charities have been targeting people in Western Australia, asking them for donations.

The St Vincent de Paul Society warned people of possible phone scammers contacting members of the public and trying to solicit donations in the organisation’s name.

Vinnies said in a statement that it was not in the business of calling people at random for donations.

“Vinnies wish to make it very clear that to this date the Society does not undertake the practice of cold calling people and asking for donations or trying to sell anything,” Vinnies said.

“It is disappointing that people would be undertaking this scam in Vinnies name because obviously as a charity we rely heavily on donations from the community in order to continue to help people in need.

“The Society operates with the upmost integrity and adheres to strict and robust fundraising guidelines.”

Vinnies said even at its busiest fundraising period, people should not expect a phone call or a knock on their door asking for donations.

“We do conduct an annual Christmas Appeal which runs from 1 November to the end of January. However we do not undertake the practice of door knocking or cold calling in relation to this campaign but simply appeal to the community to support us through donations,” the charity said.

“If anyone receives a call that they are concerned may not be legitimate, we would encourage them to check with the organisation directly before giving out any credit card details.”

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, there were 82 reports of charity scams to the watchdog last month.

Those scams were responsible for more than $14,000 in financial losses in September alone.