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JustGiving targeted by criminals for money laundering

From BBC - September 15, 2017

Fundraising website JustGiving has said criminals are attempting to use its site to launder money.

The website told the BBC it had shut down nearly 100 of its appeal pages in the past 18 months because it believed they were fraudulent.

It said the public's willingness to donate money following recent tragic events had been exploited by criminals.

Crowdfunding pages can be set up for free on the site for personal causes, from a memorial fund to a holiday.

Jonathan Waddingham, senior product manager at JustGiving, told BBC Radio 4's You and Yours programme: "The nature of crowdfunding has changed this year. We think this is because of major events like the Manchester bombing or the fire at Grenfell Tower.

"People are more willing to give to individuals they do not know, which has meant the risk has changed."

He said that, in the past two years, the site had needed to work harder to spot and close down fraudulent appeals and prevent criminals from using the donation system to store and "clean" their illegal earnings. However, money laundering "can be easy to spot", he added.

"The patterns of donation are different from those of legitimate users. One of the things we look out for is where a page gets a lot of donations from the same people or where a card is used repeatedly or has been rejected before," he said.

When discovered, no payments were processed, he said.

What is money laundering?

Regulation question

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