Regulators issue Pakistan flood relief safe giving warning

The Charity Commission and Fundraising Regulator have issued a joint warning to the public to be on their guard against bogus charities claiming to raise money to support communities impacted by severe flooding in Pakistan.

The warning follows last week’s launch of charities consortium the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC)’s Pakistan Floods Appeal.

The public is urged to ensure they only give to registered charities, including those raising money through the DEC.

They also urge the public to give to “established charities with experience of responding to disasters”. They are “usually best placed to reach people on the ground”, say the regulators.

Specific scams being flagged up by the regulators include fake appeal emails and websites that can falsely use the name of genuine charities.

Checking the Commission’s charity register is among advice given, as is looking out for the Fundraising Regulator’s badge.

There are more than 1,900 charities on the register that list Pakistan as an area they work in overseas.

The public is urged to call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online if they have concerns.

“We’ve all watched in horror as the crisis has unfolded in Pakistan and we know that many people in the UK will want to help the international aid effort,” said Charity Commission chief executive Helen Stephenson.

“We encourage everyone to follow our simple steps to check that their money gets to its intended cause. Donating to a registered charity is a good way to feel confident of that.

Fundraising Regulator chief executive Gerald Oppenheim added: “The ongoing crisis in Pakistan is devastating. Naturally, the goodwill of the British public means many will be eager to support those affected where they can.

“Before donating goods or money, it is important that people carry out our recommended checks to make sure they are giving to a legitimate cause and that their donations are used for the purpose they were fundraised for.”

According to the DEC more than a 1,000 people have been killed due to the floods in Pakistan, with six million people in “desperate need”.

Around 30 million people are affected and a third of the country is now under water.

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