#NoMakeUpSelfie Error Sends More Than $30,000 To Wrong Charity, Triggers Accidental Requests For Polar Bear Adoptions

 @suman09
on March 25 2014 8:31 AM
  • Cancer Research UK team
    #nomakeupselfie team Facebook/Cancer Research UK
  • chief executive
    CEO of Cancer Research UK, Harpal Kumar Facebook/Cancer Research UK
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Donations that were part of the "#nomakeupselfie," which has gone viral on social media since last week, were accidentally sent to the wrong charity when donors entered the wrong keyword while sending in their contributions through text messages, BBC reported Tuesday.

More than $13 million has been raised so far after a campaign urging people to take a selfie with no make-up, as part of a donation to a cancer charity, went viral. But those texting “DONATE” rather than “BEAT” found their money going to UNICEF, instead of Cancer Research UK. Meanwhile, others inadvertently inquired about adopting a polar bear from the World Wide Fund for Nature, or WWF. UNICEF told BBC that more than $30,714 had been identified as having mistakenly reached the UN agency so far.

"Unicef believes this error has occurred due to those interested in donating to the #nomakeupselfie campaign sharing the text keyword 'DONATE' - rather than the keyword 'BEAT' - and the text number 70099, which has then been repeated across social media,” Mike Flynn, director of individual giving at Unicef UK, reportedly said, adding that it was a "genuine mix-up.”

He added: "Unicef is not responsible for this error however we've been working hard to find a resolution to the situation for those affected. We contacted Cancer Research [UK] as soon as we became aware of what was happening. Unicef and Cancer Research [UK] have agreed that these donations will be received in full by Cancer Research [UK].”

According to BBC, the WWF also reported that it too had received text messages due to the use of a wrong keyword, as some people’s smartphones auto-corrected the word “BEAT” to “BEAR.”

"Thank you for choosing an adorable polar bear," the reply from the WWF read, BBC reported. "We will call you today to set up your adoption."

“Just told Jamie to text 70007 for cancer and he accidentally sent bear and now he's got two polar bears,” a Twitter user wrote adding a screenshot of the text message from WWF.

Kerry Blackstock, WWF's director of fundraising, reportedly said: "Any texts sent to us instead of Cancer Research [UK] would not result in any donations going to help protect polar bears as WWF relies on human operators calling people back to confirm adoptions, so no money would have changed hands.”

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