BE CAREFUL: Queenslanders are being warned to be wary and make sure people who are door knocking for charities are genuine.
BE CAREFUL: Queenslanders are being warned to be wary and make sure people who are door knocking for charities are genuine. Contributed

Warning to watch out for Christmas scammers

CHRISTMAS is a time for giving, but Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie is warning generous Queenslanders to look out for Christmas grinches hoping to prey on their goodwill.

Mr Bleijie said many charities increased their collection activity at this time of year, but con-artists were also out in force so it was important people could tell the difference.

"There are some simple ways to tell if the person you're giving your money to is a Christmas charity saint or scammer," Mr Bleijie said.

"Legitimate street and door-to-door collectors must wear prominent identification and be able to show a written authority from their organisation. 

"They must also issue receipts, unless they use a collection box or give a small item, such as a ribbon or toy, in exchange for the donation.

"All collectors must be 15 years or older or be accompanied by an adult, and door-knockers can only operate between 9am and 5pm."

Mr Bleijie said charities operating in Queensland needed to be registered to fundraise, and one-off appeals must be sanctioned by the Office of Fair Trading.

"You can check whether a charity or appeal has authorisation by conducting a free search on the fair trading website," he said. 

"Scammers who prey on people's goodwill at Christmas are callously taking money from those who need it most."

>> More information on charities and appeals