Online donations

Donating to charities online is a convenient and efficient way to donate. It’s easy for you as a donor and it normally has lower costs for the charity too. But internet scams do exist, so how do you make sure your donation is secure? We offer some advice.

Donating to charities online is a convenient and efficient way to donate. It’s easy for you as a donor and it normally has lower costs for the charity too. But internet scams do exist, so how do you make sure your donation is secure?

We offer some advice.

Donating safely online

Whether you’re making a one-off donation or setting up a Direct Debit, there are certain things you should check before you enter your bank or card details. Here’s our advice on how to give safely:

Go directly to the website or use a trusted search engine

If you’d like to make a donation, either type the website address into the browser yourself or use a search engine you know and trust.

Never click on a link in an email, as fraudsters can create fake web addresses and websites to mislead you. If you’re in any doubt, check the web address with the relevant charity regulator or by calling the charity itself.

Make sure the site is secure

When you’re ready to donate and enter in your card or bank details, the site must be secure. The address should begin “https” (not “http”) and your browser should tell you that you’re on a secure site.

Be completely satisfied that the charity is genuine before divulging personal details, or debit/credit card or online banking information. The Verified by Visa, MasterCard SecureCode and American Express SafeKey schemes all offer additional safeguards for debit/credit card payments.

Be careful with emails

Be wary of unsolicited emails from charities you have never heard of or have no association with. Don’t respond and never click on links contained within them. Report them and then delete them.

Avoid money transfers

Ignore requests to donate through a money transfer company. This is a popular scam.

Look for the FRSB tick logo

FRSB 'give with confidence' tick logoIf the charity is a member of the FRSB, their materials should include the tick logo. This means the charity has signed up to follow the highest standards in fundraising and is regulated. See which charities are members.

What to do if you have concerns

If you think you may have given your account details to an impostor or bogus charity, contact your bank immediately.

You can also contact the charity to check if the site or email was genuine.

If it was genuine but you’re unhappy with how the charity has acted, you can raise your concerns with us. You can contact us on 0333 321 8803 or email info@frsb.org.uk

You can also make a complaint.

Next page: Donating cash to charity