The Red Deer RCMP is asking residents to practice caution when choosing a charity to avoid being defrauded.
Donating money to reputable humanitarian organizations with a history of providing assistance is the first step.
Go directly to the unrecognized charitable organization’s website rather than following a link from an e-mail or another site.
Attempt to verify the legitimacy of the nonprofit organization by checking their status on www.bbb.org/canada/charity. Do not respond or click on links in unsolicited e-mail and be skeptical of individuals claiming to be surviving victims or foreign government officials asking for help in placing money in overseas bank accounts. Avoid cash donations and never agree to give money to a courier.
Write a cheque to the charity directly and always get a receipt. Never give a credit card or bank account to an unknown solicitor. Find out how the donation will be used and be wary of claims that 100 per cent of donations assist victims.
If you encounter a suspicious charity, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or 1-888-654-9426.