Scam victim says Zakat Foundation took $1,300February 6, 2012
Money Jihad has been contacted by a consumer who says his bank information was compromised, and that $1,300 was transferred out of his account to the Illinois-based Zakat Foundation without his consent in the wake of the Jan. 15 Zappos security breach.
Our tipster says that the Zakat Foundation has finally “refunded” his $1,300 after a lengthy slog, but he was still concerned about how many other people may have been affected and for what purpose the transactions were made. Money Jihad is unable to verify the allegation against the Zakat Foundation independently, but details provided privately by the consumer about his experience are consistent with aspects of the Zakat Foundation that are unknown to the general public.
The Zakat Foundation is one of the nation’s five largest Islamic charities. Its tax filings with the IRS indicate that its largest program expenditures overseas are in sub-Saharan Africa, where the Zakat Foundation says it is actively involved in relief camps, food distribution, and digging wells in the Horn of Africa.
Previously, Money Jihad has documented the Zakat Foundation’s cooperation with the British-based Muslim Hands, an organization identified by Israel as a member of the Union of Good network of charities that supports Hamas. The U.S. Treasury Department has designated the Union of Good as a Hamas-funding entity.
If you have been a victim of online fraud that has resulted in an unauthorized payment to the Zakat Foundation or to any other entity, you should pursue an immediate refund through your credit card company or bank. Charities are regulated by states, so you should also promptly file a complaint with your state’s charitable regulator (which in the case of the Zakat Foundation is the Illinois attorney general). Alerting law enforcement may be necessary depending on the circumstances.
In this modern Internet era, you should also go public with your complaint so that fellow web users are aware of which entities are benefiting from online security breaches. Get the word out and spare other citizens the heartache!