Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Nova Scotia RCMP are warning people to use caution before donating to any type of aid agencies that promise to help people in Haiti. News of devastating earthquake prompted many Canadians to donate but as predictable as earthquake aftershocks are following natural disasters, "scanners" also emerge to take advantage of the tragic situation. In order to help prevent financial loss and to ensure that your donations go as far as they can, the RCMP Nova Scotia Financial Crime Section is urging people to exercise caution when donating to disaster relief.

To ensure you do not fall victim to a scam in wake of Haiti earthquake, below are a few things to be aware of when deciding where and how to donate. If you have any information regarding fraudulent charities or similar activities, please contact your local police, or call Phonebusters at 1-888-495-8501 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

● Ask the solicitor for the registered charitable tax number of the charity. Question any discrepancies. Confirm the charity’s registration information through the Canada Revenue Agency (1-800-267-2384)

●Refuse high pressure appeals. Legitimate fund-raisers won't push you to give on the spot.

●Ask for written information about the charity, including name, address and telephone number. A legitimate charity or fund-raiser will give you information about the charity's mission and how your donation will be used.

●Ask for identification. If the solicitor refuses to tell you or does not have some form or verifiable identification, hang up or close the door and report it to law enforcement officials.

●Call the charity. Find out if the organization is aware of the solicitation and has authorized the use of its name. If not, you may be dealing with a scam artist.

●Watch out for similar sounding names. Some phony charities use names that closely resemble those of respected, legitimate organizations. If you notice a small difference from the name of the charity you intend to deal with, call the organization to check it out.

●Be wary of charities offering to send a courier or overnight delivery service to collect your donation immediately.