Money Can be Lost and Reputations Harmed
ORILLIA, ON, April 5 /CNW/ - In Canada, we have a long tradition of
donating money to legitimate charities during various fund raising
appeals. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) want to remind you to be
wary and careful before opening your heart and your wallet to someone
representing an unfamiliar charity or special interest.
Each year, millions of people are contacted - at the door, by mail, by
phone, or by e-mail - by those who use names or causes that are very
close to the names of legitimate and respected charities. By
approaching you at your residence, you may feel even more urgency or
pressure to donate. These people may actually be fraud artists preying
on your generous nature.
Throughout the year, the OPP Anti-Rackets Branch recommends that
would-be donors consider the following tips:
If you receive a telephone call, ask for the information to be sent to
you in writing. Ask how much of your gift will be used directly for the charity. Ask
how much will go toward administrative costs. Legitimate charities will
have no problem giving you this information.
Never give out your personal or financial information over the phone, or
at the door. You may wish to make out a cheque payable to the charity. You can
mail the cheque later.
Call the charity. Find out if they know about the appeal and if it is authorized, and
what percentage of your donation they will receive. You should never
feel pressured into making a donation.
Ask if the charity is registered. Contact Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) at 1-800-267-2384. Ask CRA for the
charitable tax number of the charity. Question any discrepancies.
At the beginning of each year, decide which charities to support - send your cheques directly to their head office, and feel good about giving. If approached more directly, you can then
say that you have already given, and perhaps you will consider their
appeal next year when you decide on the charities to support.
If you suspect a fraud artist is at work, file a complaint by calling your local police or contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
(CAFC) at 1-888-495-8501 or visit online at http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca
FRAUD…Recognize it…Report it…Stop it.
"By nature, we are generous people. Committing your hard-earned money to
charity should be as safe and secure as you intend it to be in order to
reach the people or causes you want to help."
- Deputy Commissioner Scott Tod, OPP Investigations/Organized Crime
"Criminals will ruthlessly use whatever means necessary to prey on your
good intentions for their own selfish purposes. Awareness about the
charitable organizations you want to donate to is your best defence
against these scams."
- Detective Inspector Bernie Murphy, OPP Anti-Rackets Branch.
OPP - March is Fraud Prevention Month
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (formerly Phonebusters) - Charity Fraud
SOURCE Ontario Provincial Police
For further information:
| Contact: || || Detective Constable Dave Felstead |
| || || OPP Anti-Rackets Branch |
| Phone: || || 705-329-6467 |