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
You can also visit the Canadian Revenue Agency website at
www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/lstngs/menu-eng.html 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: www.phonebusters.com/english/common_contactus.html
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: