Community Papers

It’s holiday-scam season again

As the holiday season approaches, a time when people are typically feeling more generous, you may find 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.

The following tips can help protect you from telephone charitable scams:

• 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 it is running a fundraising campaign.

You can also visit the Canadian Revenue Agency website to ensure a charity is registered.

• Ask them to give you the charitable tax number of the organization.

• If you are told you have won a prize, you should never have to pay money to receive the prize.

If you 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 if 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 Kamloops RCMP and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or at its 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 about telemarketing in B.C. or to find out if the telemarketer calling you on behalf of a charity is licensed, go here.

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