On the fifth day of Christmas… You dodge that charity scam

People tend to feel more charitable at Christmas, we all like to help in whatever way we can. Giving to those less fortunate than ourselves is often something we become much more conscious of as the festive season draws near. Criminals like to take advantage of human nature, they understand our emotions and know how to tug on our heartstrings! Check out the fourth day of Christmas tip

Be aware that not all “charities” are what they seem. Bogus charities can be set up to take advantage of our generosity and generate a profit for cybercriminals.

Remember, if you receive unexpected correspondence from a charity, there are a few basic things you can do to verify that you are dealing with a reputable source.   

  • Visit the charity’s website by typing the address into the search bar as opposed to clicking a link. Always look out for https and not http as this indicates a secure site. Any legitimate charity that allows you to donate online will have a secure site displaying a padlock icon in the browser. 
  • Never send donations by money transfer- use a more secure method. Payments sent by third party methods such as PayPal are much more secure as they provide transaction references and don’t pass on your account details to the recipient. 
  • Legitimate charities will always be happy to advise you via phone call if you have any doubts. If you receive an email or phone call from a charity it’s good practice to confirm their authenticity before you give a donation. Always call the number listed on their official website, not the one provided in an email. 
  • If you have given your financial details to a company that you later suspect to be fraudulent, you should contact your bank immediately. They will be able to advise you on the best steps to take to ensure the security of your accounts.  

Protect yourself and your identity by staying safe online. Educate your family, friends and staff regarding the severity of phishingidentity theft and social engineering. Cyber security is an important issue, one that we all need to take seriously. 

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