Fake charity phone fraud

Newsroom EAP
Fake charity phone fraud
Scammers are fouling the good name and reputation of the Heart and Stroke Foundation by making fake phone calls claiming to offer victims of their scam wonderful prizes in return for personal identity information and a donation. The Heart and Stroke Foundation does not operate in that manner and residents should be wary of suspicious calls. (Photo : file)

Con artists are using the good name and reputation of a well-known non-profit group for their fake charity phone call routine.

The OPP have received complaints from the Hawkesbury area of Prescott-Russell about an active scam where residents receive phone calls from someone claiming to represent the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

The target of the phony phone call is told they have won a large amount of money and also a flat-screen television or some other item. They are given a fake name and a contact address in Toronto or some other location, along with a phone number to call to verify their alleged win.

Calls to that number are answered by someone who also claims to represent the Heart and Stroke Foundation and who then tells the target of the scam what to do to claim their alleged prize. This may involve providing personal identification and financial identity information, including a bank account for transfer of the prize money. The scam depends on getting that kind of information so the fraudsters can then either remove money from the victim’s account or use the victim’s identity for credit thefts.

The police have determined that if the Heart and Stroke Foundation does any kind of prize draw, they send the prize item or cheque directly to the winner and do not call a person and then direct them to another phone number.

The OPP have reports of area residents who were tricked into providing personal information to the people running the scam. Police warn residents not to provide any personal or financial information to any suspect callers.

Anyone who thinks they were contacted or victimized by a scammer should call the police and also file a report with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or online at www.antifraudcentre.ca.

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