EmpathUK: scam or not? You decide (we’ll help you…)

Empath UK fails the ‘mu:kaumedia 12 point ’scam-detector’ test

Someone pointed me at this site today to cast my beady eye over it.

I’m not saying EmpathUk is a scam (you can make up your own minds on that).  What I am saying though, is that it presents itself like one.

Here are some key points to watch out for generally when you’re trying to judge the credibility of an organisation online (particularly in the Third Sector):

1) Do you trust their motive? ‘We’re here to help you give…….’ Do you need their help to give?  Or are they just hoping to cash in on your charitable nature?

2) Is it accredited with or linked to any charitable organisations?  EmpathUk has no connections, partnerships or references therefore no credibility.

3) Does the website look like it was thrown up in a day? Their website is unprofessional and unconvincing and looks like a front that cost little or nothing to put up.

4) Are there any real people to hold accountable? Responsible organisations are fronted by real people who are contactable.  A Google search turns up almost nothing for ‘Mr. Peter Fayle’ (named as ‘Director’ on site).

5) Is it registered with Companies House or with the Charity Commission? Nope and nope. If it’s not a registered organisation how can Mr. Peter Fayle can’t be a ‘Director’?

6) Does it hide its location? EmpathUk gives no evidence of any real world address.  I do, however, know the exact London block of residential flats that the domain is registered to in Peter Fayle’s name (thanks to Google street map and WhoIs domain name registration search)

7) Does it ask you for personal information? EmpathUk wants more details about you than it is prepared to offer about itself.  Look out, it’s phishing time.

8) Do the FAQs fail to answer your most basic concerns? EmpathUk’s FAQs look like they were written to tell you only what they want to tell you.

9) Can you find any history for this organisation or person online? A Google search turns up nothing for EmpathUk.  A genuine new organisation will know that if it has no history it has to make sure that at least its people are real, traceable and have a track record.

10) No useful contact details. No address, no phone number – just a single email address ‘peter.fayle@empathuk.org’. By chance, I did find the following via Google:

Picture 4

Interestingly, note that none of this information is visible on EmpathUk’s website.  The phone number (above) is only visible on this particular Google summary and not on the page it links through to which (you’ll notice) isn’t EmpathUk’s website.

11) Were the website domains registered, er.. like yesterday? EmpathUk’s were.  Ok, that’s unfair.  They registered them two days ago.  On the 9th December 2009 to be exact.

12) Does your gut instinct tell you this is dodgy? If you trusted this, you wouldn’t be here checking.  Whatever you felt, you were probably right.

So there we are.  Is EmpathUk a scam?  As always, you decide.

If you are trying to do some good work for charity and you’re new in the game, then you’re going to have to work hard to give people confidence in who you are, what you’re doing and why.  EmpathUk fails 100% to do that for me – whatever its motivation.


One Response to “EmpathUK: scam or not? You decide (we’ll help you…)”

  1. William on December 11th, 2009 4:07 pm

    Better stick with Justgiving.com! They’re a reputable outfit with a track record of working with many charities.

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