Watch out for holiday scams

As the holiday season approaches, a time when people are

typically feeling more generous, you may find that you're getting

more requests to donate to charities. And while there are many

legitimate companies and charities calling you for fundraising

purposes, it's a good idea to take some precautions and be informed.


Nov. 1-7, 2012 is Crime Prevention Week and the B.C. government is

teaming up with Consumer Protection BC to help keep families and

communities safe from crime.


The following tips can help protect you from telephone charitable


* Ask for the information to be sent to you in writing before you

commit to a donation.

* Ask the telemarketer to call you back and, in the meantime, call

the charity yourself to confirm they are actually running a

fundraising campaign.

You can also visit the Canadian Revenue Agency website at to ensure that a

charity is registered.

* Ask them to give you the charitable tax number of the charity.

* Remember that if you are told you have won a prize, you should

never have to pay money to receive the prize.


If you do decide to make a donation over the phone, always keep a

record of the date, the name, address and phone number of the person

and charity you spoke to, the amount you donated and the method of

payment. Always be cautious around giving your credit card

information over the phone.


Signs of a scam include high pressure tactics or threatening

telemarketers who want you to make a donation immediately. If you

believe you have been scammed, you can file a complaint with your

local police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or

at their website:


Consumer Protection BC licenses and regulates certain telemarketers

in the province, including companies calling on behalf of charities

if they are taking payment over the phone. For more information

around telemarketing in B.C. or to find out if the telemarketer

calling you on behalf of a charity is licensed, please visit:

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