It is with good intentions and a big heart that someone donates to a charity willfully. However, it is sad that there are people who would actually think to take advantage of the generous people in the streets. As a precautionary measure, make sure to always be wary of appeals that tug at your heart strings.
A fraudulent incident happened last March 31, 2017 at approximately 9:00 pm. An unsuspecting man was approached by a woman at the Mackenzie King Bridge entrance of the Rideau Centre in Downtown Ottawa. She asked him to make a donation to an unknown charity to which he gladly obliged. Later on, he was led to an ATM to withdraw money. As soon as he had entered his PIN, she moved had him to move aside so she can take an unauthorized amount of cash from his account. Investigators believed that the victim was allegedly targeted due to his cognitive disability.
The Ottawa Police Service Central Criminal Investigations Unit are now asking for public assistance in identifying the woman. She is described as an Asian female, approximately 35 years old with a small build wearing black pants and a black jacket. See photos.
For anyone with information, call the Ottawa Police Criminal Investigations Unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5166. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or by downloading the Ottawa Police app.
Here are tips when dealing with Charities:
– Ask for information about the charity such as name, address and telephone number. For most legitimate organizations, these information can be found online.
– Do your own research before committing to anything. You can even call the charity or the beneficiary organizations. Find out if the organization is aware of the solicitation and has authorized the use of its name.
– Ask how your donation will be distributed.
– Refuse appeals that push you to give on the spot.
– Consider the costs. When buying merchandise or tickets for special events, or when receiving “free” goods in exchange for giving, remember that these items cost money and generally are paid for out of your contribution.
– Be wary of guaranteed sweepstakes winnings in exchange for a contribution. According to law, you never have to donate anything to be eligible to win.
– Avoid cash donations if possible. For security and tax record purposes, it it best to pay by check.
Visit the Ottawa Police Service website regarding to see more tips regarding Fraud and Scams.