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Alleged fake cancer society canvasser arrested

Red Deer residents are being conned at the door by people pretending to canvass for charity.

Red Deer City RCMP released information on Friday indicating they are investigating cases where individuals are collecting money for the victims of the Newtown, Conn., shooting and for the Canadian Cancer Society.

A man who has allegedly bilked Red Deer residents out of more than $10,000 by pretending to canvass for the Canadian Cancer Society has been arrested and is facing fraud-related charges.

Red Deer City RCMP arrested a man in near West Park area on Thursday night after responding to a call of a suspicious man who was going door to door asking for donations to the society. The man is in police custody facing numerous fraud related charges.

Police will release his name after the charges are laid sometime today.

Police believe the suspect took donations from close to 600 people in Red Deer.

“We expect it to be in various locations (of Red Deer),” said Cpl. Leanne Mozahn.

Police did not say how long the man is alleged to have been going door to door.

The Alberta/NWT Division of the Canadian Cancer Society ended its annual door-to-door canvass in 2008.

Red Deer RCMP are attempting to contact possible victims through information obtained from the sheets that were allegedly recovered from the suspect upon his arrest.

No other details were released on the canvassing incidents related to the Newtown victims.

If you believe you are a victim of either of these crimes, call the RCMP at 403-343-5575.

Police remind people to be vigilant in protecting their private information and cautious when dealing with people or agencies they are unfamiliar with.

Donors can protect themselves by:

• Never providing personal information such as your bank account information, social insurance number, date of birth, credit card numbers or PIN at the door or over the telephone, unless it’s something you’ve initiated.

• Only dealing with reputable charities — do some background research to make sure they are who they say they are.

• Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into immediately making a donation.

• Always request a tax receipt.

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