Con artists take advantage of tragedy

Believe it or not.

As incomprehensible as it is reprehensible, some people are taking advantage of Australians’ generosity in the aftermath of the nation’s worst peacetime tragedy.

Police have warned people to be wary of scammers claiming to be collectors for the Victorian bushfire appeal.

The warning comes after two reports of people allegedly impersonating representatives from charity organisations selling raffle tickets and asking for donations on the Sunshine and Gold coasts.

Deputy Commissioner Kathy Rynders said that it was a sad fact of life that people tried to take advantage of tragedies for their own gain.

“It is almost unbelievable that any person would seek to prey upon people who only wish to help others by donating to these worthy appeals,” she said.

“Anyone who attempts to impersonate a charity worker faces up to five years in prison.

“I urge any person who believes they have been approached by someone impersonating a legitimate charity or a fake charity to report the matter to either CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000 or their local police station.”

Anyone wishing to donate to fire victims should do so through the Australian Red Cross or by making a donation at any bank.

Police advise people to check the identification of a person collecting money for charity.

If they are unsure, they should call the charity organisation to confirm the collection is legitimate.

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