Charity fraudster jailed in Ras Al Khaimah
Ras Al Khaimah - The criminal court found the accused, who managed to collect thousands of dirhams, guilty.
A young Asian man was sentenced to a one-year jail term for posing as a representative of a charity in another emirate, according to records of the Ras Al Khaimah Criminal Court.
The convict, who is in his 30s, was found to have forged a labour card so that he could collect money from philanthropists here on behalf of the association.
The court, presided over by Chief Judge Sameh Shaker, ordered the fraudster to be deported after serving his time.
Court records showed that an Emirati alerted the RAK Police about the Asian resident who claimed to be collecting donations for the benefit of an association based in another emirate.
"He was wearing the uniform of the said charity association and had a forged card of the same society," he told the authorities. The CID team arrested the suspect and referred him to the RAK public prosecution. He was charged for posing as a licensed representative of a charity; using a forged ID card; and collecting money without a licence.
The criminal court found the accused, who managed to collect thousands of dirhams, guilty.
Detecting charity fraud
Dr Mohammed Ashmawy, an expert working with a charity association here, told Khaleej Times that the public should always be cautious whenever they are approached by a charity representative.
"It is fine and even advisable to give for charity, but one should be absolutely sure that the money goes to those who deserve it. Otherwise, it might go into the pockets of scammers and fraudsters or be used for illegal practices."
Bogus charity collectors are everywhere, he said. "Criminals spare no effort to collect money even if they have to pose as religious people."
Official charity representatives should always be carrying all the necessary documents relating to their entity, which they should also be fully aware of, he said.
"It is better to give a donation in person at the charity head office, a licensed branch, or online through their website or smart app - rather than giving it to a street collector who might turn out to be a scammer."
It is also illegal to collect donations through open containers, Ashmawy said. "The charity bucket should always be sealed, displaying the charity's name, registration number, and contact information."
It is advisable to make a call to confirm the details and check with other sources. "There is no need to rush. Take your time before making a decision."
Tips to avoid charity scams
>Give your donation in person at the association's office or online via its official website.
>Charity buckets should always be sealed. Never place a donation in an open box or container.
>Call the charity to confirm details and check with other sources.