New Westminster Police Department warns residents of donation fraud

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:

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.