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Alleged group of fraudsters target Kelowna, Vernon residents

The group of four is accused of pretending to have a disability to collect money for an alleged charity
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The group of four alleged fraudsters is comprised of two women and two men. (RCMP/Submitted)

The Kelowna RCMP is warning the public about “fraudsters” who are pretending to have disabilities to collect money for an alleged charity.

In a press release Cpl. James Grandy of the Kelowna RCMP said that on March 17, the West Kelowna RCMP were called about two women in the parking lot of a business on Carrington Road who claimed to be deaf. The women asked the caller for cash donations for an alleged charity.

Suspicious of the two, the caller declined. The witness told the RCMP that she later observed the “two communicating between each other seemingly without disability.” The witness then allegedly observed the two women “asking other bystanders again for money, but with communication difficulty,” said Grandy.

On March 18, two men and two women were reported to be travelling to different mall locations in Vernon, utilizing a similar tactic. The group was seen pretending to have disabilities and collecting money.

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Grandy says the four are also believed to have been working together to distract mall employees while stealing merchandise, including five Apple iPhones from one store.

The four individuals are believed to be the same group who is accused of nearly identical offences in the Lake Louise and Banff, Alberta areas on March 8, said Grandy.

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More information on the 4 alleged fraudsters is available at kelownacapnews.com

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Photos of the female suspects were taken on March 17, by the witness in West Kelowna. Photos of the male suspects were captured on CCTV on March 18, in Vernon. These individuals are believed to be in the greater Okanagan area and possibly heading toward Alberta.

If you observe these individuals in your community and believe they are committing an offence including fraud, contact your local police office immediately and make note of any associated vehicles, asks Grandy.

Anyone with information as to their identity or whereabouts are asked to phone the Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300 and reference Kelowna RCMP File 2024-13913. You may also report information anonymously to the Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.crimestoppers.net.

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Jacqueline Gelineau

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