Generous Wellingtonians are being warned to be vigilant in the light of fraudulent emails and websites with insecure donor pages that request credit card details from those donating to the Christchurch earthquake appeals. Charities Commission chief executive Trevor Garrett has said that although most such appeals were legitimate, it was almost impossible to tell whether individuals with collection buckets were honest.“You just don’t know, but to some degree we have to trust people are doing the right thing,” Garrett told The Wellingtonian newspaper. He said people should donate to appeals registered with the Charities Commission, such as Red Cross and the Government Earthquake Appeal. “If someone’s asking you for money, say, ‘Do you have a Charities [Commission] registration number?” If it’s not registered there’s no way of guaranteeing where your money is going. And you should ask for a receipt.” He said all money given to the Red Cross and Government Earthquake Appeal would go directly to Cantabrians, something other organisations could not guarantee. “Sometimes you will see people contracted to collect on behalf of someone else, and there’s a cost to that,” he said. Police spokesman, Jon Neilson said the police would investigate complaints about scams if there was sufficient evidence. Source: Donate with caution, by Rebecca Thomas. The Wellingtonan March 24, 2011. p. 1. Note: The Society [SPCS] provides links for donors to secure websites and contact details for organisations seeking donations for the Christchurch earthquake apeal.