Calls for donations for Morocco or Libya: how to avoid scams?

In just a few days, the Arab world was hit by two natural disasters. In Morocco, a earthquake of unprecedented magnitude caused the death of around 3,000 people, leaving a large segment of the population destitute. Two days later, in Libya, devastating floods have caused more than 3,800 deaths, a toll that is likely to rise further.

While many countries provide support to overcome these tragedies, individuals can also make donations, via online prize pools. Be careful, however, of the risk of scam, as some false benefactors have few scruples about taking advantage of the emotion caused by tragic news to make money. A few hours after the tragedy in Morocco, influencer Dylan Thiry, suspected of setting up scams under the cover of humanitarian fundsappeared on stage donating blood in solidarity with the victims of the earthquake… from Dubai, as shown by the location – subsequently removed – of his message, posted on X and seen nearly 100,000 times.

Thus, in recent news, cases such as the disappearance of little Émile or even the death of young Nahel gave rise to the creation of false prize pools. Le Parisien explains how to avoid these scams.

Choose secure platforms

Certain recognized platforms, which provide verification at several levels, such as Leetchi or Lydia, concentrate the majority of the prize pools. But others, less known, can also serve as intermediaries for donations. In the case of the earthquake in Morocco, the most popular platform is undoubtedly Cotizup, which brings together several dedicated prize pools. If in doubt, it is possible to check whether the fundraising site is correctly referenced in the register of insurance, banking and finance intermediaries, on

In the case of Morocco, certain prize pools shared by influencers link to company sites which have actually been closed for several years, and which are targeted by user criticism. Using the SIRET number and consulting the reviews left, check the reliability of the collection organization’s platform. If in doubt, you can contact the organization. In any case, never make a direct transfer to an individual, this is often the easiest way for scammers to defraud their victims.

Prioritize reputable organizations

To ensure that your donation arrives safely, choose recognized and reliable charitable organizations, such as the Red Cross/Red CrescentL’UNICEFTHE People Relief or the Fondation de France. Be careful, however, of fraudulent sites that perfectly imitate the visual appearance of the ociations mentioned.

If the fundraising organization is less renowned, it is essential to “ensure that the identity of the creator is verified and that the description of the prize pool is consistent,” specifies Alix Poulet, president of Leetchi. To do this, it is possible to check whether the organization holds the label Donation in Trust, an organization that monitors the finances of many organizations to ensure responsible use of funds raised. You can also check their site as well as their social networks. An unknown ociation, with a rudimentary website as well as less than credible social networks, should alert you.

Be careful with small collections

The most frequent scams do not necessarily concern very large prize pools. If the platform generates a lot of donations, its media coverage will be greater and it will attract attention more quickly: it will therefore have a greater chance of being reported by the community.

“In fact, a large collection will attract the attention of the media, be relayed on social networks… The more eyes there are on this pot, the more possible signals and alerts there are,” notes Alix Poulet, who specifies, however, that, on its platform, all prize pools – regardless of their amount – are also verified.

Report suspicious cases

If you are unsure about an online fundraiser, or if you have already donated to a suspicious site, it is essential to take appropriate action by informing the authorities. You should report these situations to the relevant agencies such as the DGCCRF (Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Repression) or theACPR (Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority).

If necessary, you can also consider filing a complaint with the police, the gendarmerie or the public prosecutor.

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