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ACNC warns donors as charity scammers take advantage of Jarrod Lyle’s death

The regulatory body has responded to the issue of charity scammers using social media to trick unsuspecting people into donating

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has responded to the issue of charity scammers using social media to take advantage of donors.

Scammers have set up fake Instagram accounts to con unsuspecting people into donating money to the grieving family of Australian golfer, Jarrod Lyle, who died of cancer recently. His loved ones have cautioned people from donating.

ACNC Commissioner, Gary Johns, said: “It’s a low act, and it’s disappointing that someone would take advantage of the good nature of people in the face of tragedy for their own personal gain.

“Unfortunately, in some rare cases, well-known charities can be the subject of scammers – imposters, fake sites and fraudulent campaigns can be used to divert money away from legitimate causes.”

Lyle’s wife, Briony Lyle, warned people about the scam online: “Yet another Insta [sic] account has appeared to take advantage of Jarrod’s death.

“I apologise for the nuisance.”

The ACNC have suggested that donors look through the ACNC Charity Register or look for the ACNC’s Registered Charity Tick for reassurance that the charity is transparent and accountably. Over 12,000 charities display the tick.

“If you are looking to donate, avoid clicking links or providing financial information via messaging services or social media – it is best to visit a charity’s website directly to ensure your donation is made safely and without risk to your personal information,” the ACNC wrote.

Donors who are concerned they have been targeted by a scam should keep a record of all conversations and to report the accounts to Instagram – or other social media platforms – so that they can be shut down.

“Don’t be fooled – I encourage all donors to protect themselves and avoid being scammed,” Johns said.

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