The Giving Season is Here: Be Wary of Questionable Phone Calls and Charities

November 16, 2017


Vancouver, BC – The holiday season is upon us and many legitimate organizations will be ramping up PR efforts to raise money for those in need. The spirit of giving in BC is strong, but it also means we need to be very careful about who we give money to and why.

“We’ve received information lately about someone claiming to be raising money for BC Search and Rescue when in fact they never solicit for donations this way,” says Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB serving Mainland BC. “It’s not uncommon for scammers to use the names of legitimate organizations to take money from people. In the past, we have had many reports of local police authorities phoning people for money when they just don’t do this.”

For more on the issue related to the BC Search and Rescue Association go here.

BBB offers these tips to consider before donating money:

• For information on registered charities with the Canada Revenue Agency visit:
• Ask yourself if the call could be fake and avoid giving impulsively; hang up and contact the organization directly.
• Request the caller’s charity registration number.
• Keep your emotions in check if the call relates to a local disaster.
• Give to charities you have given to in the past.

Fake Charity websites:

• Watch for bad grammar, fuzzy images, and social media links that don’t work.
• Hover your mouse over a link to determine the destination.
• Make sure website has https// in the URL.
• Fake websites with the right look and feel can be set up quickly, so be the instigator and go to the website yourself and avoid any spam.
• Be wary of crowdfunding. Crooks like setting up crowding funding sites to raise money for themselves under the guise of help. Research; establish credibility.
• Understand Crowdfunding sites are not agencies and do not issue tax receipts.

Door to door:

• Be cautious if approached at your door. Ask plenty of questions.
• Contact organization directly to see if they have people working in your area.
• Ask for the mission statement.
• Ask for ID.
• Ask for a tax-deductible receipt.
• Avoid paying in cash. Use a credit card or cheque.


Media Contacts:

Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor
BBB Serving Mainland BC
404-788 Beatty Street
Vancouver, BC
V6B 2M1

About BBB:

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 365 million times for BBB Business Reviews, all available for free at BBB Serving Mainland B.C., founded in 1939 and serving the Lower Mainland, Thompson-Okanagan, Northern, Central and Southern Interior BC, and the Yukon, is one of 108 local, independent BBBs across North America. In 2016, consumers turned to BBB Serving Mainland B.C. more than 2 million times for Business Reviews and processed 6,000 complaints.