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Warnings About Crooks In Bushfire Donations Scams

The Country Women’s Association of NSW has put out a warning about bushfire fundraisers, after claims scammers were posing as CWA volunteers.

The CWA's local branch at The Oaks warned followers on Facebook after it claimed to have received reports of such incidents occurring in Oran Park, a suburb in Sydney’s south west, in recent days.

“The CWA of NSW does not door knock to raise funds for disaster relief,” a spokesperson for the CWA told 10 daily.

“We would ask the community to be vigilant and ask appropriate questions of anyone asking for donations in a door-knock appeal.”

Photo: @CWATheOaksNSW

However, police told 10 daily that after looking into the report, it may have been a false alarm.

“We’ve tracked down the source of the Facebook post this has originated from. We can confirm there has been no sighting of any door knockers in that area," the duty officer at Narellan Police Station, which covers Oran Park, told 10 daily.

Nonetheless, Australians are being urged to be careful if they are approached by people presenting as fundraisers, after previous incidents of scammers posing as RFS volunteers.

"Police are urging the public to be vigilant when donating money and, if you are unsure, consider donating to registered organisations involved in bushfire-recovery efforts," a NSW Police spokesperson told 10 daily.

This comes after multiple scams involving NSW Rural Fire Service impersonators to falsely obtain money in recent weeks.

The Chifley Police District warned residents around Portland, Walleraway and Cullen Bullen about a male person in a Rural Fire Service uniform, door-knocking residents to collect money several weeks ago.

On the NSW Central Coast, Tuggerah Lakes Police warned residents of a similar scam using phone calls.

In these cases, police advised the communities to avoid giving out personal or bank details over the phone, or money to door-knockers.

If residents suspect a scam they should hang up or close the door and contact their local police station.

The CWA of NSW is providing support to bushfire affected communities through its Disaster Relief Fund which a spokesperson said will “continue throughout the recovery period”.

“We thank everyone for their support and generous spirit at this time. Your support is what enables us to stand with those impacted and provide assistance where we can.

“Please keep in mind that many branch members have been individually impacted themselves and may not be immediately contactable.”