Better Business Bureau warns of holiday donation scams

’Tis the season for generosity — and for scams.

The Better Business Bureau of Vancouver Island issued a warning Monday that trends in holiday giving are leading to unethical requests for donations from illegitimate charitable canvassers.

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The BBB says it has received reports of suspicious individuals knocking on doors late in the evening, claiming to be collecting donations on behalf of legitimate charities. When asked for identification, solicitors have quickly moved on.

“The holiday season is the time of year many legitimate charities use to solicit donations for various fundraising campaigns,” says Rosalind Scott, BBB president and CEO. “Unfortunately, this is also the time of year that many people are financially desperate themselves, and it is a great season for scammers to play on people’s desire to give and to take advantage of unsuspecting victims.”

The RCMP issued a warning earlier this fall about a door-to-door scam selling gift cards as part of a fundraising campaign. Donors were given what looked like a hand held point of sales machine, for credit or debit card payment, and given a receipt. In reality, the donors were having their financial account information skimmed off the machine.

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