Kelowna RCMP is issuing a warning to beware of people going door to door soliciting donations.
The Kelowna area has seen a resurgence of a previous door-to-door scam in which individuals appear to be canvassing for UNICEF, but are actually trolling for your personal information.
The phony fundraisers advise people that they can only accept donations via debit or credit card and carry with them a portable debit/credit card machine.
Police believe the machine to be capable of capturing the victim’s financial information, including their PIN. Once this information is compromised, a fraudulent card is manufactured giving the fraudster the ability to make unauthorized withdrawals and purchases from the unsuspecting victim’s account.
Previously, victims were provided with a realistic looking receipt and some ready brew Starbucks coffee as a thank you.
It should be noted that the scammer may not be solely using UNICEF as a cover, and may in fact be using other charities to sell his deceit.
There are many ways to donate safely and securely, either online or at an approved fundraising event. If someone approaches you asking for money, consider the following:
S-Safe. If you give in, would you be worse off for having done it?
C-Credible. Is the person trying to convince you that they are credible without being verified?
A-Aggressive. Is the scammer using an aggressive tactic, or language, that requires an immediate or imperative response?
M-Motive. Is their motive to deprive you of money or assets (banking information), typically with a promise of greater reward?
If the answer is “YES” to any of the above questions, then don’t fall for it. If it’s a phone call, simply hang up. If a letter, throw it away. If in person, kindly tell them you’re not interested.
It’s that simple.
If you’ve been scammed and think your information has been compromised, notify your financial institution and change your PIN right away.
– Cnst. Kris Clark, Kelowna RCMP