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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Protect yourself from donating to scammers during Ramadan

In a month where British Muslims will donate in excess of £100 million to charity, it is important to stay vigilant of criminals after your money.

As the holy month in Islam approaches, it is important to stay vigilant against criminals after your money and to donate to charities or those actually in need.

Scammers are experts at impersonating trustworthy people, organisations, and authorities and they will be extra active during Ramadan.

In 2020, devotees gave a record-breaking £150m charity during Ramadan, equating to around £58 a second. A study conducted by Islam Relief UK found that British Muslims donate around £123 each during Ramadan – three times the average monthly donation.

Ramadan is the busiest time of year of British Muslim charities. Image: Sylwia Bartyzel.

Stats released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in 2018 suggests there are around 3.4 million Muslims living in the UK, or around, 5.16% of the population.

A poll run by ICM research in 2013 found that Muslims were the most generous people of faith, with people on average donating £371 alone, compared to Christians who give less than £180, on average.

As Ramadan is a time when most people give Zakat – an obligation where an individual has to donate a certain proportion of wealth each year to charitable causes, scammers will be looking out for people to take advantage of.

Maisam Fazal, Chief Commercial Officer, Al Rayan Bank, said: “Most fundraising is genuine, but some fraudsters and online criminals will try to exploit Muslims’ generosity at Ramadan.

“Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam, and so we want to encourage people to be safe with their donating. We urge people to read about how to avoid Ramadan scams to help ensure donations end up in the right hands and help those in need.”

Here are six steps from the Charity Commissioner on how to avoid Ramadan scams:

Check: Always check that the organisation you are giving to is a legitimately licensed charity. Every registered charity will be given a charity registration, which can then be checked on the charity commissioner’s website, here.

Caution: Be more cautious about people collecting for general charitable causes, such as “for sick children.” If approached by collectors, check whether they are wearing a proper ID badge and that any collection box is sealed and undamaged.

Question: If in doubt, ask the collector for more information – a genuine fundraiser should be happy to answer questions and explain more about the work or the charity.

Pause: Never feel under pressure from a fundraiser into donating immediately. If you want to donate online, type in the charity’s website address from your internet browser and do not click links on through suspicious-looking emails.

Do not click: Criminals often send emails with links to fake websites or attachments that contain viruses If you want to donate online, type in the charity’s website address from your internet browser and do not click links on through suspicious-looking emails.

Talk: If you’re unsure about an organisation that is asking you for money, discuss it with your family or other people you can trust.

Always do your due diligence and research before parting with your money, above all have a blessed Ramadan from all of us at Asian Standard.


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