London police public warning regarding recent Charity events scam

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

In Canada we have a long and honourable tradition of voluntary giving to those in need, often through charity organizations. Citizens still need to be aware of unfamiliar charity organizations that contact them, by mail, phone, Internet, or in person. The London Police Service would like to remind people to be careful!

Bogus charities often use names that are very close to the names of legitimate and respected charities. The end of the year is the peak season for charity appeals. It also is the peak season for the bogus charity appeals. 

The London Police Service Fraud Section has received several complainants in relation to individuals who had represented themselves as a participant in charity events requesting donations. Generally these events were represented as runs, walks, etc. If a cheque is issued they may request it to be put into a person’s name rather than the charity. The cheques are later being altered into larger amounts. In reference to this scam, police are looking for 27-year-old David Andrews and 21-year-old Farrahn Maloney who have been charged with fraud and uttering a forged document for offences dating to October 12, 2012. 

Police would like to offer the following advice for citizens: 

Warning signs

– Individuals who go door to door displaying a copy of a charity event on a clip board but have limited, or no information pamphlets to provide the potential donator;

–  High pressure or threatening telemarketers who want you to contribute immediately; 

– Someone calls and thanks you for a pledge you don’t remember making; 

– Copycat names. Names that might be misleading or deceiving.

What you can do

– 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 have no problem giving you this information.

– Remember on an incoming call a person could be misrepresenting a legitimate charity. 

– Never give out your personal / financial information out 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 have authorized it and what percentage of your donation they will receive from your donation. Perhaps there is a better way to give, where 100% of your donation will reach the charity. 

– Ask if the charity is registered. (Contact Revenue Canada at  1-800-267-2384 or go to http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/lstngs/menu-eng.htm l to search online.)

– Ask them to give you the charitable tax number of the charity. Question any discrepancies. 

– At the beginning of each year decide which charities you can afford to donate to – send your checks directly to their head office, and feel good about giving. When approached you can say that you have already given and leave it at that. Perhaps you will consider their appeal next year when you decide on the charities you can afford to give to.

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