Computer hardware donations

Just like Santa Claus, generous companies who contact you offering products without you having ever asked for or purchased anything from them don’t exist!

Description of the fraud

The message is clear and the goal is admirable: providing computer hardware to associations, NGOs, humanitarian organizations, institutions, cities, schools, universities, etc. who are in need of it. A foreign company writes to you and explains that such an organisation is in the process of updating its computer equipment and that it’s offering to send you the old computer hardware for free or nearly free. You go on the website and it looks professional, it has photos of humanitarian actions completed by the organisation, and there’s just a simple form for you to complete. So why refuse? Because it’s most often a fraud!

Methods used by fraudulent computer hardware donators

  • The new website of a foreign company provides an online form.
  • Once the form is filled out, the shipping company contacts you and asks for payment of the shipping fees.
  • Once the fees are paid, there is little hope of receiving any news about the computer hardware, let alone any computers, printers, or other hardware that you requested.

What to do when caught in this fraud?

  • File a complaint with the police services. If you are aware that other Internet users are victim of the same scam, gather all your complaints with the same police station or public prosecutor.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Innovation Council and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.