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Storm fundraiser scam 'disheartening,' says Charlottetown fire chief

The scammers are claiming to be fundraising for the Charlottetown Fire Department and asking for donations in response to the recent snowstorm, the city says.  (Pat Martel/CBC - image credit)
The scammers are claiming to be fundraising for the Charlottetown Fire Department and asking for donations in response to the recent snowstorm, the city says. (Pat Martel/CBC - image credit)

As P.E.I. residents come together to dig out from the snowstorm and get life back to normal, some fraudsters are trying to take advantage of the situation.

The City of Charlottetown is warning residents and businesses about a phone scam where a caller claims to be fundraising for the Charlottetown Fire Department and asks for donations "in response to the recent snowstorm."

"It's disheartening that fraudsters are attempting to take advantage of our residents' and businesses' goodwill towards our community and CFD," fire Chief Tim Mamye was quoted as saying in a news release.

"If we run a fundraiser, we make sure we publicize it through the local media and social media. You should never be discouraged from calling one of our fire stations to ask if we're fundraising for anything; it's better to be safe than sorry."

The news release said no Charlottetown department will ever call residents directly to ask for financial donations.

What to do if you suspect a scam

Charlottetown's police chief, Brad MacConnell, was quoted in the news release as saying people should be wary if anyone asks for their financial and personal details, even if that person says they are acting on behalf of a relative, friend or local charitable group.

MacConnell said people who suspect someone is trying to scam them should:

  • Stop communicating with the scammer. Hang up or don't answer the email.

  • Be suspicious about anyone claiming to be from your bank or another organization, especially if they ask for personal, credit card or online account details. Ask for the caller's contact information, then hang up, and call the institution to confirm, using a number from your local phone book or the institution's official website.

  • Report fraud attempts to the Charlottetown Police Service non-emergency line at 902-629-4172.