UK charity watchdog urges caution over fraudsters targeting Ramadan donors

Contributions to charities this month is expected to exceed £130 million

The Charity Commission is urging people to check aid groups are legitimate and donations reach intended beneficiaries. Photo: Tesco

Britain's charity watchdog has warned donors to be careful of fraudsters when donating money to good causes during Ramadan.

The Charity Commission is warning people to be wary of fake appeal websites and emails purporting to be from legitimate charities.

It has issued guidance to donors to double check if the charity and funding request is legitimate before donating funds.

It is estimated that more than £130 million will be donated to charities in the UK during Ramadan.

"The generosity of British Muslims, especially during Ramadan, is remarkable," said Helen Stephenson, chief executive of the Charity Commission.

"It’s vital that these substantial donations reach their intended causes, to strengthen communities and improve lives at home and abroad.

"That’s why we urge everyone to follow our simple steps to check that their money is going where they think it is. Donating to a registered charity is a good way to feel confident of that."

It is encouraging people to check the aid group's name and registration number at gov.uk/checkcharity and to make sure the charity is genuine before giving any financial information.

"While most online and in-person fund-raising is genuine, fraudsters and criminals may try to take advantage of this unparalleled generosity," the commission said.

"This may include fake appeal websites, email appeals falsely using charities’ names or appeals from fake charities.

"Be wary of unsolicited emails from charities you have never heard of and be careful when responding to emails or clicking on links within them," it said.

"Exercise the same caution as with any other internet transaction, for example, to donate online, visit the charity’s own website and always type the website address into the browser yourself.

"Take your time to ask a fund-raiser questions and check street collectors’ ID badges and ignore requests to donate through a money transfer company."

Updated: April 11, 2022, 11:34 AM