Charity scammer nabbed in Kelowna, police make link with Salmon Arm frauds
A 22-year-old Kelowna man has been charged with multiple counts of fraud, theft, impersonation and using false pretenses after he was arrested in connection with a card-skimming operation that took place in both Kelowna and may be linked to similar cases in Salmon Arm.
On March 16, 2013 at 1:30 pm, the Kelowna RCMP responded to a complaint of a possible fraud. A man wearing an ID card and stating that he was collecting donations on behalf of the Ronald McDonald House Charity had apparently just taken money from a resident with the use of a portable debit device. The resident immediately phoned Ronald McDonald House and was advised that this was an ongoing scam. She provide police with a description and the suspect was taken into custody a short distance away.
The man was identified as James Alexander Graham, who is known to police and remains in custody to appear in court on Tuesday, March 19.
Neighbourhood inquiries indicated that Graham had canvassed the area and there were further victims. Subsequent investigation also revealed that this may be the tip of the iceberg with over 47 victims in just a few days in both Kelowna and Salmon Arm.
On the weekend of March 2 and 3, a number of residents in the Lakeview Meadows subdivision were targeted and the scam continued into the next week in various locations in the city, with police issuing a public warning about the credit skimming.
Graham has been charged with 4 counts each of Fraud Under $5000, Theft Under $5000, Personation, and False Pretences. More charges may be recommended pending further investigation.
RCMP are advising the public that if you have been a victim of this scamto call the Salmon Arm detachment and report any compromised credit cards to your financial institution.