Noting the situation both in the Levant arising from the late terrorist attack on Israel and in the East as a result of Russia’s war against Ukraine the Jersey Charity Commissioner appreciates that there may well be intensified pressure on individuals to donate to causes which claim to seek to alleviate the impact of war and conflict upon individuals and peoples alike.
The Commissioner wishes to warn citizens and charities to be especially watchful if approached to donate, and to be on the lookout for criminals and terrorist groups falsely posing as legitimate charities in order to solicit donations. Criminals and terrorist groups commonly set up fake charities to take advantage of the public’s generosity during times of special crisis and typically seek both money and personal information from a would-be-donor – personal details that can be used further to exploit the victim through identity theft. Bogus charities may also seek to lure victims in, such as through emails and fake websites. In some cases, criminals may alter their caller IDs to make it look like a genuine charity is soliciting donations.
Jersey registered charities, especially, should remain vigilant to the possibility of being used or exploited by terrorist groups, terrorist supporters, and their seemingly legitimate front organisations, in order to obtain, store or move funds that may be used in further terrorist activity and not for charitable purposes.
The Commissioner’s advice is that persons should always resist the temptation to donate on impulse to organisations that are not previously known to them. It is best to donate only to registered charities which will ensure that moneys received go only to the right places.
Charities themselves should be ever vigilant and seek to identify and expose any unusual and suspicious activity.
To keep up to date with the latest position on financial sanctions, charities and other non-profit organisations can sign up to:
- the Government of Jersey’s sanctions notices: Gov.je sign in and registration
- and sanctions email alerts issued by the Jersey Financial Services Commission: https://www.jerseyfsc.org/subscribe-to-our-news-and-updates/.
Anyone in any doubt is asked to contact the Charity Commissioner’s office on tel. 760810 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we shall revert promptly with our considered views on the safety and legitimacy, or otherwise, of that which he or she is pressed to do. Do not act on impulse, but stop to think, and do not hesitate to seek our advice.