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New Westminster Police Department warns residents of donation fraud

New Westminster – 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,” stated Sergeant 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, we encourage you to call and file a police report. The New Westminster Police Department can be reached at 604-525-5411.

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Contact person: Sergeant Jeff Scott, 604-529-2423