SCAMS are prevalent everywhere, especially during the holidays. People should be cautious of who they’re giving donations to.
“Donation fraud awareness is very important – especially around the holidays,” says New Westminster Police Department Sgt. Jeff Scott. “We encourage everyone to talk with their friends and family about the signs of a person that is trying to take advantage of their generosity.”
Below is some information on what to look for.
Signs of a charity scam:
- The charity representative pressures you to donate immediately.
- That same individual is vague on the details and won’t give details about the charity’s mission, history, expenses, etc.
- They may use a charity name similar to that of a well-known legitimate charity to trick you. For example, Wounded Warrior Foundation was the name of a fake charity, and Wounded Warrior Project is the name of a legitimate veteran’s charity.
- You might get a thank you for a donation you don’t remember making. Scammers will include in that card false contact information in the hopes you will contact them next time you donate.
- The charity representative may offer to send a courier / overnight delivery to collect your donation as quickly as possible.
- They might guarantee sweepstakes winnings to tempt you into making a donation.
Good, preventative measures can be found at the bottom of this page: http://www.antifraudcentre.ca/fraud-escroquerie/door-porte-eng.htm
How Scams Work
- Scammers can show up at your front door, call you on the phone, or be behind fraudulent websites.
- Scammers steal or purchase your phone number from retailers, organizations, telemarketers, and even social media platforms.
- Around the holidays, or when a real disaster or emergency happens, scammers will pose as agents of legitimate well-known charities.
- If scammers are targeting you over the phone call spoofing technology is used to make it appear the number is in Canada.
- Scammers have been known to hire other scammers to work in call centres and have been trained to take advantage of your emotions.
- Scammers that work in call centres typically are provided with scripts.
- The scammer will ask for credit card information, pre-loaded card, or electronic currency like Bitcoin which is nearly impossible to track.
- At the call centre run by scammers, once your private information is collected it will be passed along to a senior employee who will collect the money from your account.
While some victims of scams feel embarrassed, police encourage you to call and file a police report. The New Westminster Police Department can be reached at 604-525-5411.