Food bank phone scam hits Alberta

A phone scam targeting Edmontonians has been attempting to gather credit card information under the façade of a food bank donation ask.

The Edmonton Food Bank says scammers have been calling residents throughout the city, claiming they are volunteers or staff members of the food bank and asking for monetary donations. Like most credit card scams, scammers are asking for credit card numbers over the phone and using the information to make unauthorized purchases.

This recent scam was likely born out of opportunity, after seeing Albertans stepping up to the donation plate as Alberta goes through a rather severe downturn.

It’s hard to say how many good-hearted people have had their credit cards stolen because of this scam. The Edmonton Food Bank, like us, has come right out and said they never make donation asks over the phone and has since outlined how the take their donations.

In case this scam moves south and starts surfacing in your neighbourhoods, it’s important Calgarians know how to spot them and know how to donate safely.

The Calgary Food Bank is community owned and community supported, which means 100% of our donations come from generous Calgarians. Because of that, we take our reputation incredibly seriously.

As a rule, the Calgary Food Bank NEVER solicits donations over the phone.

8 Signs of a Charity Scam

1. They refuse or can’t provide detailed information about the charity’s identity, mission, costs, and how the donation will be used.
2. They can’t provide proof that a contribution is tax deductible.
3. They thank you for a donation you don’t remember making.
4. They use high-pressure tactics like trying to get you to donate immediately, without giving you time to think about it and do your research.
5. They ask for credit card information over the phone without offering an alternative like donating online, in person or via mail.
6. They don’t offer a tax receipt.
7. They guarantee contest winnings or other incentives in exchange for a contribution.
8. It feels like a scam.


How to donate to the Calgary Food Bank

  • In person: Come down to our admin location (5000 11 Street SE)! We take cash, credit, cheques and pretty much everything else!
  • Over the phone: Call us if you’d like to make a donation over the phone, and never give your credit card information to anyone who calls you directly.
  • Online: We take cards online through our online donation page!
  • At events: Chances are, we are taking donations at events all over the city! Find out where we are.

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