How to Indentify Suspicious Donation Requests

We have recently become aware of a situation in which individuals using the aliases Paul Chappell and Glen Rowe have expressed interest in making sizeable donations to GlobalGiving projects under the condition that a portion of the funds be passed on to another, unknown organization. Said individuals have attempted to use stolen credit cards to carry out this scheme.  Although this has only affected a small number of GlobalGiving’s partners, we would like to share the specifics of this situation in hopes of fortifying our network from similar attempts and in an effort to be open and transparent.

Here’s the situation:

  1. 1. Organizations have been contacted by a prospective donor, in this case someone claiming to be a priest or missionary using the aliases Paul Chappell or Glen Rowe, who expressed interest in making a sizeable donation to their project on GlobalGiving under the condition that the organization pass a portion of that donation on to another organization called Mercy Home.  Here is the text of the email:
    Hi Again,
    Did you receive my email below I sent regarding the donations that we would like to make for your ministry? I’m regretting that my email might have not gone through because I did not hear back from you.

    Hello,

    My name is Paul Chappell from the United State of America. We have learnt much more about the work you are doing to benefit the less fortunate. We learnt about your work through Give Now Fundraising advertisement. We wish to know about how donate for the work you are doing. We will make donations including the donations for the Mercy Children’s Home that we are supporting. Please let me know how to make donations then.Thanks in Advance,
    Paul Chappell”
  1.  2. These individuals have used stolen credit cards to make sizable donations to the organizations’ projects on GlobalGiving. In these cases, the names associated with the donations have not matched the names of the individuals sending the emails—Paul Chappell and Glen Rowe—and the email addresses have generally not matched the donor names.

 

To date, GlobalGiving has reversed all fraudulent donations. We were first informed of this situation when we were contacted by a donor whose credit card had been stolen and fraudulently used on our site.

What should you do if you believe that a donation is suspicious?

Contact us at projecthelp@globalgiving.org  with the details of the donation and any communications that you have received in association with the donation. If you are ever unsure of the merit or origins of a donation, please get in touch with us. We are happy to work with you to investigate the donation further.

Please note that, as part of the terms and conditions that all of our partners agree to, donations made through GlobalGiving must be used for the project as it is described on the website. Your organization may not pass on a portion of the donation to another, unknown organization to be used at their discretion. If your organization ever receives a request to pass on a portion of a donation made to your project, please notify the prospective donor that you will not accommodate their request as it conflicts with the terms of the GlobalGiving website.

What is GlobalGiving doing to respond to this situation?

GlobalGiving has reached out to the individuals carrying out these acts. We have notified them that we are aware of their scheme and that we are monitoring our website closely for fraudulent activity. We have also informed them that we have notified the relevant authorities.

We have taken steps to educate our staff and our partners about this situation so that our team and our network are better prepared to handle this situation and others should they arise in the future.  We have also implemented some precautionary website scans and policies in relation to donation and website activity. In particular, we are monitoring sizable donations and donations made from unlikely IP addresses.

If you have any additional information about this or other similar situations, please contact us as soon as possible at projecthelp@globalgiving.org.

Finally, we have done our best to call and speak with each of the donors whose credit cards were used without their permission on our site. Those individuals are aware that we are doing all we can to prevent this from happening again in the future.

We are committed to ensuring that our website is safe to use for both donors and organizations. We are determined to respond quickly and effectively to any indication of fraudulent activity. As a result, we are working to identify additional safeguards that we can place on our site to reduce any risk of fraud.

Questions?

Please feel free to contact us via email at projecthelp@globalgiving.org or via phone at +1-202-232-5784. We would be happy to discuss this situation with you.

No Comments

Comments Closed