Brits’ SMS errors cause cancer donations to go to wrong charity

Thousand of Brits that wanted to donate to Cancer Research actually ended up sending their money to the wrong charity, because they text the wrong word.

According to, some £18,625 worth of donations have been given to Unicef instead of Cancer Research, all because some Brits sent the word ‘DONATE’ to 70099, when they actually should have text ‘BEAT’. Unicef says it will send all the donations intended for Cancer Research onto the charity.

The error has arisen as a result of new social media trend ‘#nomakeupselfie’, in which women take pictures of themselves without any make-up on and post it on Facebook to raise awareness of cancer. The girls then nominate others to do the same and donate a few pounds to Cancer Research to help beat the illness. As a result of the campaign, over £8 million has been raised for the charity.

However, people’s mobile phone settings have been responsible for the SMS errors too. Some Brits who have auto-correct on their mobile phones turned on found they accidentally text the word ‘BEAR’. They were then shocked when they received an automated message back thanking them for registering their interest in adopting a polar bear through the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), reports

Mike Flynn, director of individual giving at Unicef UK, says the charity isn’t responsible for any of the errors, but it is now “working closely with all parties involved to ensure that this doesn’t happen again in the future.”