Scam targets lung association supporters

Hundreds of victims in Edmonton and Calgary have been targeted by criminals highjacking the good reputation of the Lung Association to make good on their scam.

CALGARY — Hundreds of victims in Edmonton and Calgary have been targeted by criminals highjacking the good reputation of the Lung Association to make good on their scam.

Communications director Joanna Byers said police are investigating the telephone scam which uses the association’s name as a lure

The organization was first tipped off when a long-time supporter was targeted as a would-be dupe.

Byers said it’s extremely disconcerting as the Lung Association takes pride in upholding the most ethical standards.

Victims said they got a series of phone calls by scammers who initially identifies themselves as a Lung Association representative conducting an Air Quality Research Survey on the organization’s behalf.

Days later the victim receives another call saying they will receive a prize for participating in the survey and financial information is needed in order to ship the prize.

While they do not have the exact number of victims, Byers said there may be hundreds, possibly over the past two years.

“We have heard some lost $6,000,” she said.

The scam comes to light as the Lung Association launches its annual fund-raising campaign — which last year was down thousands of dollars given the economic climate.

“This could tarnish our reputation with current and potential donors,” Byers said.

The Lung Association raises funds for research, advocates in public policy and provides patient support and is an information source.

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