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NSW: Beware of bogus charities during the Xmas season

15 Dec 2008 12:01 AM
EDS: Embargoed until 0001, Monday, Dec 15

SYDNEY, Dec 15 AAP - People should give generously to charities this Christmas season but beware of bogus operators, the NSW government says.

About 5,000 charities are licensed to raise funds in NSW and donate the money to their intended causes.

"Christmas is a time for giving but before handing over your hard-earned dollars, take the time to ensure you're helping a licensed charity," state gaming and racing minister Kevin Greene said in a statement.

"By being a little bit careful, we can all make sure that our charity dollar goes where it's needed most."

All face-to-face collectors must wear an ID badge with their name, who they are collecting for, a telephone number and the signature of the licence holder.

People contacted by collectors on the telephone should ask the collectors their full name, the name of the collecting company and address and telephone number of the charity.

People can then ring the charity to confirm the call is legitimate.

Be careful about giving out personal banking details if donating by debit or credit card, Mr Greene said, and never disclose a banking password or personal identification number (PIN).

All licensed charities appear on the NSW public register which is available online at www.licence.nsw.gov.au

Unlawful fundraising carries a maximum fine of $5,500 and should be reported to Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.