Beware of door-to-door charity scam
A scammer has introduced a slick campaign to bilk consumers under the guise of raising money for Ronald McDonald House.
Salmon Arm RCMP were contacted by a resident in the area of 23rd Street NE, who had a funny feeling after making a supposed donation and receiving McDonald’s gift cards in exchange.
The door-to-door scammer claimed to be representing Ronald McDonald House and was wearing a photo ID tag with McDonald’s logo and the last name “Harris.” The scammer was well dressed, wearing a dark suit. He is Caucasian, about six feet all with dark hair.
The man advised the resident that if he made a donation through his Visa card, he would be able to immediately issue a tax donation receipt.
“It was very slick. He seemed to have an answer for all my questions, and this is a charity I support, so I gave him my card,” said the victim, who did not want to be named.
The credit receipt appeared to be legitimate under the heading “McDonald’s Foundation.”
After the man left, the man and his wife became suspicious and decided to call the local McDonald’s to check.
They were informed that there was no door-to-door fundraiser in progress, so the couple went to the store to see if the gift cards were valid. While the cards were legitimate McDonald’s gift cards, they were void with no value attached. The couple suspect they were stolen or previously used cards.
They immediately contacted their credit card company and cancelled their card and then phoned police.
“It’s another skimming operation,” said Staff Sgt. Kevin Keane of the Salmon Arm RCMP. “Last fall it was Tim (Hortons) cards.”
Keane advises anyone who may have been scammed to contact them and also advised the public to be cautious with their credit card information.
“These people went to great lengths to appear legitimate,” says the victim. “I was lucky and wasn’t out anything because I cancelled my card, but these people could have really gone to town. I just don’t want anyone else to get taken.”