Don't Get Scammed!
Online scammers are posing as "international donor representatives" offering fake promises to steal your money!
Online scammers can also pose as "fundsforNGOs representative" and promise you to "arrange" or "give" grants for your NGO.
fundsforNGOs does not give grants
What is an Online Scam?
An online scam is a fraudulent activity carried out over the Internet by providing incorrect information for the purpose of stealing money or assets from victims. Online scams are one of the biggest threats to businesses and governments around the world as they end up with severe financial losses and mental and emotional harassment of victims.
How many online scams are there?
According to the Consumer Sentinel Network, which is maintained by the Federal Trade Commission of the United States Government, there were 535,000 imposter scams and 167,000 identify theft cases reported, leading to a loss of more than $1.4 billion in 2018. These figures have only increased to $406 million over what was reported in 2017.
Targeting Small NGOs
The ‘Foreign Money Offers‘ category is one of the top three categories that fraudsters use to lure NGOs (and individuals), especially in developing countries, giving them hope of receiving grants against payment of small sums of money.
Types of Online Scams targeting NGOs
Grant Funding or Award
This is one of the most popular scams going around the internet. NGOs unexpectedly receive an email or a social media post or a WhatsApp/text message which says that a certain Foundation has selected your organization to offer grant funding and you just need to respond to this email.
In this case, fraudsters announce that a huge conference is being organized in a foreign country and your NGO has been selected to participate in it. The fraudster promises to cover the entire cost of air travel and accommodation but the conference registration fee needs to be paid by the NGO.
NGOs also end up falling into the trap of fake investment scheme, though NGOs are not businesses and these investments bear no meaning to their work. Yet, the promise of large amounts of money makes some NGOs respond and even pay for the “service.”
Scholarship or Fellowship Program
This is another fake offer created by online fraudsters targeting students and young professionals with the false promises of giving scholarship or fellowship at a payment of a certain “fee”.
NGO Jobs and Employment
In this type of online fraud, messages are shared with NGO professionals about fake job offers in large and renowned international agencies such as the UN, the World Bank, IMF against payment of money.
These types of sophisticated scams are different from outright offers of grants. Phishing or, more specifically, Spear Phishing is when online fraudsters use a fake identity of a legitimate organization and ask you to provide sensitive information such as your credit or debit card, bank account details etc. to hack them and steal money from them.
Signs of a Scam
Online fake offers of grants and similar scams are widespread across the NGO sector around the world. With so much information reaching them from all sides, it is often difficult for NGOs to identify the genuine grant offers from the fake ones.
Below, we are providing important tips that NGOs can use to identify whether a piece of certain grant information is genuine or not.
Asking for Money or Membership to release a grant
No donor agency will ask you to pay money or buy a membership in order to release a grant. Donors are well-funded organizations and they do not need money from you. If someone is claiming to be a donor and asking money from you, then it is a scam!
No Application Process, no Proposal!
Some fraudsters will directly send an email to your inbox saying that you have been "selected" for receiving the grant money. But did you apply for it? No donor agency will give away grants without a proper application process. So if such a offer lands up on your lap, remember! It is scam.
Check the Donor Website and the Email Credentials
Scammers try to scam millions of users through email and often use non-existent emails and ask you to reply to another email address. You can smell the scam here! If you received such an email, match the sending email domain with reply email and the donor website. You will know the difference!
Don't believe in unexpected phone calls, Whatsapp texts and emails suddenly contacting you with a promise of giving grants for you!
fundsforNGOs also has a Membership fee. Why should we pay?
fundsforNGOs has a Premium Membership service and users have to pay to use this service. However, this service does not give you grants straightaway. It only offers grant information and resources on how to apply for funding. In fact, the service does not guarantee any kind of funding for your NGO. Raising funds is a long-term process and requires training and skill development and this service seeks to support it.
More Resources to help you avoid scams
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