So I recently got a bunch of calls from an NGO calling itself Relief India Trust. The calls themselves were a bit odd and over zealous with the volunteers flinging themselves at me and describing the plight of children in gory detail, but it was the frequency of the calls that first gave me a clue that something wasn’t right. Then, when I finally decide to put in some money, there’s a volunteer who calls me up, takes me through the donation process and then offers to stay on line until I give her a Transaction ID for the bank transfer.
I did up a Google search and found tons of consumer complaints about the organisation. And if you notice their NGO registration number in the link above, it’s just a plain four digit number: 3696. The Indian Government has an NGO search site where you can search for voluntary organisations by name or their unique registration ID. 3696 doesn’t turn up Relief India Trust. Neither does a search for their name. These are a bunch of scam artists.
Real NGOs probably needn’t be this aggressive. I donate every year to SOS Children’s Village India, which has been my charity of choice since forever. They have a unique take on bringing up disadvantaged children, a personal dialogue (if you wish it) between your kid and you, and I’ve visited their centre in Kerala too.
Update: I’ve receive a legal notice from Relief India Trust. Further developments in a new blog post: Relief India Trust, the Scam NGO, Files a Legal Notice Against my Blog Post for Defamation