The devastating fire that broke out in Notre Dame on Monday has opened gates for fraudsters to fool donors into handing over cash and taking advantage of the tragic incident, as per foreign media reports.
It has been reported that scamsters have already unleashed their plots, falsely claiming they are helping to rebuild the centuries-old cathedral.
The French Heritage Foundation warned saying any phone calls or emails appealing to donate funds under the pretext of the medieval-era monument were fake. The foundation has so far collected more than 13 million euros ($14.5 million) from individual donors to help restore the Gothic landmark.
"A number of scams have been flagged to us both in France and abroad," the foundation said Wednesday, insisting it issues no appeals by phone, mail or email for donations.
The foundation further notified that they are accepting donations through its website, Facebook page, PayPal, a Paris metro station and by SMS for those belonging from France and any other initiative apart from these are a means of fraudulence.
"All of these initiatives are fraudulent," the foundation declared.
Edouard Philippe, the Prime Minister of France, took to Twitter and declared that those who are donating for the monument’s reconstruction will avail income tax benefits.
(We opted for an incentive system that will appeal to the greatest number: the French who will make a donation for the reconstruction of #NotreDame will benefit from a reduction of their income tax, from 75% up to 1000 euros and 66% beyond 1000 euros.)
France's Culture Minister Franck Riester on Tuesday warned people to be on guard from websites claiming to support the reconstruction of Notre-Dame.
The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, had praised the courage and professionalism of the firefighters on Tuesday; promising the Parisians that they will "rebuild this cathedral together." He had also announced an international fundraising campaign to raise money for the repairs.
Built in the 13th century, the medieval structure is considered a feat of architecture as much as a religious symbol. It is one of Paris' most popular attractions, drawing an estimated 13 million visitors a year.
(With PTI inputs)