Charity scam visits downtown shops

A downtown business owner is warning others in Red Deer of a charity scam resurfacing in the city.

A downtown business owner is warning others in Red Deer of a charity scam resurfacing in the city.

Lorna Watkinson-Zimmer, owner of Comfort the Sole, said a strange incident took place in her shoe shop last Friday when several people came in, one pulled out a banjo, and they started singing songs.

“It put my red flag up,” said Watkinson-Zimmer.

One person approached Watkinson-Zimmer asking for money. They represented themselves as soliciting donations for the Children’s Joy Foundation. Watkinson-Zimmer asked for a card, which she received.

“I felt it was a little sketchy,” said Watkinson-Zimmer. “I will check this out and I’m happy to give a donation.

“As soon as I said I will check it out on the web, the music stopped midway into O Little Town of Bethlehem and out they went.”

She said she talked with other staff at her business and they said a group claiming to be soliciting donations for the Children’s Joy Foundation had come in, asking for money, before Christmas — when Watkinson-Zimmer was away.

“They just walk in the door, play and the next thing she’s walking over with the wallet,” said Watkinson-Zimmer.

“Asking if we’d like to give a donation.”

Doing an Internet research, Watkinson-Zimmer stumbled on several news articles saying it was a scam.

Stories from Huntsville, Ont., Winnipeg, the University of New Brunswick and Wainwright identify people soliciting donations for the Children’s Joy Foundation as scammers.

In the Philippines, there is a charity called the Children’s Joy Foundation.

Its aim is to help feed, clothe, shelter and send to school three million children in that country.

But in a news article from the Borneo Post, an English language daily newspaper on the island of Borneo — part of southeast Asia — the Philippines consulate in Malaysia said people were soliciting donations without proper authorization and misrepresenting the organization.

“I could see retailers busy, and these people start strumming, and then just open their wallets and give them $10,” said Watkinson-Zimmer.

She said they were also at her business last year, staff told her.

“It seems to be going around out there and I have called around and told a few places about it,” said Watkinson-Zimmer.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

These blues will get you dancing: The Overdue Blues Band performs in Red Deer Saturday

Calgary’s Brother Ray Lemelin Band is also on Elks Lodge bill

Tree planting volunteers needed at Ellis Bird Farm

Arbour Day activities at Ellis Bird Farm

Third pot store to open in May in Red Deer

Red Deerians will soon have a third pot store to patronize. Fire… Continue reading

Gardening: Time and effort key to buying garden plants

Greenhouses, garden centers and box stores are set to start selling bedding… Continue reading

Montreal native Nicholas Latifi off to solid start on Formula 2 race circuit

Practice makes perfect for Canadian Nicholas Latifi. The 23-year-old Montreal auto racer… Continue reading

Bruins victory over Leafs ensures an American team will hoist the Stanley Cup

TORONTO — Many NHL players were either not yet born or too… Continue reading

Swole, buzzy, among new words in Merriam-Webster dictionary

BOSTON — Get swole, prepare a bug-out bag, grab a go-cup and… Continue reading

Garner graces cover of People’s annual ‘Beautiful Issue’

NEW YORK — Jennifer Garner graces the front of this year’s “Beautiful… Continue reading

Updated: Joshua Arthur Sanford has been found, says RCMP

37-year-old Ponoka man last seen on Tuesday morning

Inspired by a galaxy far, far away, these ‘Star Wars’ mementos could be yours forever

CHICAGO —The stuff of “Star Wars” —and there is unfortunately no better… Continue reading

Shoppers Drug Mart launches second online medical pot portal in Alberta

TORONTO — Medical cannabis users in Alberta can now get their therapeutic… Continue reading

Most Read