Saanich charity warns of phone fraudsters

  • Feb. 18, 2011 6:00 a.m.

Queen Alexandra Foundation’s name illegally being used

Yet another telephone scam is being orchestrated in Greater Victoria, prompting one Saanich charity to put out a warning.

Jennifer Jasechko, vice-president of the Queen Alexandra Foundation for Children, which oversees Jeneece Place, says their charity never solicits for donations over the phone.

“They’re calling and asking for money and it’s not us. We’re not sure if they’ve obtained any credit card information, but we want to put the warning out,” she said.

Saanich police Sgt. Dean Jantzen said people need to be cautious before donating money to any purported charity, especially over the phone, via e-mail or at your doorstep.

“Make yourself annoying by asking questions,” he said.

“Ask to be directed to a website or a number to call locally. Ask where you can donate in person. If it’s a legit charity they’ll have no problem helping. If it’s a fraud attempt, that will quickly get rid of them.”

Police suggest that if you fall victim to a scam like this, it’s very difficult, almost impossible, to get your money back in a fraud investigation.

“You’re largely in charge of protecting those things for yourself,” Jantzen said.

“There’s little to no recourse whatsoever so your best defence is don’t give away any money at the door, over the phone or over e-mail.”

Jasechko says it’s unfortunate that their charity’s name gets sullied by fraudsters, but hopes people will take heed of police advice and not donate over the phone.

“It’s so wrong on every level what they’re doing,” she said. “It’s just the worst.”