Charity scam leads to alert

INdividuals going door-to-door with an automated card reader

rning Star Staff

Vernon residents are being warned about door-to-door scams.

There have been cases of individuals approaching residences and saying they are with UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). They have an automated card reader with them so donations can be made through debit or credit card.

“We’ve had a few complaints. It appears to be a scam,” said Gord Molendyk, RCMP spokesperson.

In one case, a resident thought they had made a $10 donation.

“Several hundred dollars were taken out of their account,” said Molendyk.

Molendyk admits that some scam artists can come across very professional and because of that, residents must be vigilant.

“Be very cautious and be aware that scammers are out there,” he said, adding that residents should still be encouraged to support charitable groups.

“UNICEF is a good organization and there are safe ways to contribute to them such as their website.”

Toronto-based Public Outreach represents UNICEF and its staff wear photo ID badges and carry UNICEF materials.