On April 15, 2019, news emerged that a devastating fire had broken out beneath the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris – a historic French Gothic building which dates back hundreds of years. It didn’t take long for reports to reach all four corners of the globe, with millions of people expressing their sadness in the wake of such devastation.
Fire crews worked tirelessly throughout the night to extinguish the fire, with hundreds of years of history crumbling away before the eyes of the nation. By the time the fire was put out, the spire of the building had collapsed, the upper walls were severely damaged, and most of the roof had all but been destroyed.
In spite of this, large sections of the building are said to have been saved, while many works of art and other treasures were successfully evacuated prior to the escalation of the fire. There were also no fatalities as a result of the fire. However, there was a total of three non-fatal injuries – one of which was sustained by a firefighter.
Fundraising efforts quickly began to gather pace, with an incredible €800 million pledged within just 24 hours
In the aftermath of this unfortunate incident, fundraising efforts quickly began to gather pace, with an incredible €800 million pledged within just 24 hours. This was a marker of just how much this historic building means to people around the world, which isn’t surprising considering it attracts in excess of 13 million visitors each year – even more than the Eiffel Tower.
Unfortunately, there are dozens of scams going around which aim to take advantage of anyone hoping to play their part in the fundraising efforts for the restoration of the Notre-Dame Cathedral, which, if reports are true, could take up to 20 years or more to reach a stage of completion.
Online fundraising scams are most definitely on the rise in the modern world. Therefore, there are several things that you need to look out for in order to avoid becoming a victim yourself. Thankfully, the following article will take a closer look at the red flags you need to keep an eye out for, while providing a list of official fundraising schemes if you would like to contribute a donation to the Notre-Dame restoration fund.
Scams to Look Out For
There is most definitely no shortage of online scams in the digital age. In many cases, they are so sophisticated that they appear to be completely legitimate. However, falling prey to such scams could end up with your private data being stolen by opportunist thieves.
With this in mind, the following section will delve deeper into the most common scams that fraudsters are using in an attempt to get their hands on your personal information and payment details. Here’s everything that you need to know.
Social media scams
The phenomenal rise of social media has been well documented in recent years – with scores of people around the world regularly active on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. However, there is a dark side to social media, and it is that cybercriminals are attempting every trick in the book in order to dupe people into clicking on illegitimate website links.
Headline-grabbing events such as the Notre-Dame fire provides cybercriminals with the perfect opportunity to take advantage of any generous donors who would like to provide their contribution towards a great cause. This is why you should always think twice before entering any personal information on links that are shared on social media sites including those previously mentioned.
In order to avoid becoming a victim yourself, it’s worth clicking on the page that shared the link itself. By doing so, you can check if it has been shared by a verified account (marked with a blue tick). This ensures that the social media page which shared the link is in fact run by a genuine organization.
In addition to this, it is highly recommended that you visit websites directly and double check the URL to be on the safe side. This will ensure that you can avoid ending up on a phishing website, which the next section will delve deeper into.
Phishing websites are web pages that are made to look and feel like the real thing, but with one big difference – these types of websites will grab every piece of personal information they can. Some fake websites are so convincing that it can sometimes be difficult to tell them apart from the genuine article.
Some of the red flags to look out for are slow-loading times, poor spelling and grammar, and the absence of trusted payment methods. These are just some of the reasons why you should always take the time to think before you act in order to avoid falling into an online trap.
As we touched upon earlier, bogus links are rife on social media platforms, but you will also find them in other areas of the internet. This includes spam/phishing emails which may contain a rather enticing title and body text that can trick you into believing it had been sent from a reliable source.
In terms of the Notre Dame fire, cybercriminals have made attempts to pull on the heartstrings of those who have been affected by the catastrophic event. They want to tempt users to click on a link which appears completely legitimate, but then sends you to a website which upon entering your details, sends your personal information straight into the hands of scammers.
In order to prevent this from happening, you should probably avoid clicking on links in emails that you have received and don’t be so hasty when it comes to entering your personal information on websites that you aren’t completely sure about. If in doubt, steer clear and you might well have made one of the wisest decisions you will ever make.
Official government-supported and reputable fundraising schemes
Now that you are fully aware of the scams which have arisen in the wake of the devastating Notre Dame fire, you are probably searching for a way in which you can play your part in the fundraising without having your personal information intercepted by online criminals.
With that in mind, here are some of the official fundraising efforts that you can rest assured are the real deal.
- la Fondation du Patrimoine
- la Fondation de France
- la Fondation Notre-Dame
- le Centre des monuments nationaux
That concludes our full report on the Notre Dame fire and the online scams that have emerged as a result. By this point, you’ll have the knowledge that you need to identify any red flags before it is too late. By taking on board the advice given in this article, you’ll be in a much better position in the future as you aim to keep the cyber criminals at bay.
It’s a given that many people around the world will want to donate to charitable schemes such as the Notre-Dame restoration fund. But scammers will often take advantage of the generous nature of millions of people around the world.
Thankfully, being aware of bogus links, phishing websites, and social media scams can go a long way in protecting you from any would-be thieves.