BLANK SPACER

Fraudsters target Greater Victoria community association with fake GoFundMe campaign

Two members fell victim, scam reported to police, association president says

A scam using a spoof GoFundMe page is targeting members of a local community association.

On Nov. 3, Susan Haddon, president of the Quadra Cedar Hill Community Association, was made aware of the scam when a contractor reached out after receiving an email that appeared to be from the association. The email was calling for donations on a ‘GoFundMe page’ for a member’s son in need of medical care.

READ ALSO: Saanich Remembrance Day ceremony goes virtual

He forwarded the email to Haddon so she could see for herself. The message explained a member of the association was in dire need of help and that a GoFundMe campaign had been created to support the family. Attached below was what appeared to be a fundraising page with a summary about Fred, a little boy supposedly fighting a rare type of anemia.

But it was a scam, using the GoFundMe logo and format, Haddon explained. The “make a donation” button takes the user to a PayPal account to send money, not to any official GoFundMe page.

The scam was convincing, Haddon noted. She tried to find the page on the real GoFundMe site but was unsuccessful. As the fundraiser wasn’t actually posted to GoFundMe, she couldn’t report to the company, but she was able to start a file with the Saanich Police Department. By Tuesday afternoon, she’d received more reports from members who’d also been contacted by the scammer.

READ ALSO: Four raccoons rescued from Saanich dumpster using neighbour’s trellis

In an effort to prevent members from losing money, Haddon sent a mass email explaining the scam and emphasizing “no, it’s not legitimate.”

Most members replied saying they’d assumed it was a scam but two members did send money, she said. One was able to cancel the donation on their credit card but the other wasn’t able to stop their payment.

Haddon was disappointed by the scam, as many residents are looking for ways to be extra compassionate during the pandemic and this scam preys on that sentiment.

READ ALSO: West Shore first responders raise alarm after dramatic increase in mental health calls

Saanich police are investigating the incident and are reminding residents to confirm who the recipient is of donations before sending funds online.

“Fraudsters are getting clever … be very careful” and when in doubt, trust your instincts and try to donate in-person to avoid scams, said Const. Markus Anastasiades, public information officer for the department.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Saanich Police DepartmentScams

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Fraudsters have targeted members of the Quadra Cedar Hill Community Association using a fake GoFundMe page. (Image via Susan Haddon)

Fraudsters have targeted members of the Quadra Cedar Hill Community Association using a fake GoFundMe page. (Image via Susan Haddon)

Just Posted

SD62 bus driver Kerry Zado said it’s common to see drivers lose their patience and pass by his bus while he’s picking up students during the morning commute. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
School bus driver laments motorists who pass while red lights are flashing

All buses in Sooke School District outfitted with stop sign cameras

Metchosin Coun. Kyara Kahakauwila is stepping down as deputy mayor following controversy over her decision to travel to Mexico in December. (Black Press Media file photo)
Councillor steps down as deputy mayor of Metchosin after controversial trip to Mexico

Mayor hopeful mediation will help council get back to the business of community

Victoria police are seeking home surveillance video and witnesses following a prowling incident in Esquimalt Jan. 20. (Black Press Media file photo)
Esquimalt prowler removes air conditioner, peers into person’s home

VicPD is seeking video footage, witnesses following Jan. 20 incident

West Shore RCMP seized a stolen fish finder and drugs after searching a Colwood home Jan. 9. (Black Press Media file photo)
Search of Colwood home reveals stolen fish finder, drug trafficking evidence

West Shore RCMP suspect a 46-year-old woman is responsible

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

(Black Press Media file photo)
From arts to environment, nominate your West Shore hero

Nominations for the Goldstream Gazetteā€™s Local Hero awards are open

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

A suspect has been arrested in connection with fires at Drinkwater Elementary (pictured) and École Mount Prevost. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson suspect arrested after fires at Cowichan Valley schools

Drinkwater Elementary and Mount Prevost schools hit within a week

Nanaimo RCMP are seeking the public’s help after a man allegedly assaulted a clerk at James General Store on Victoria Road on Jan. 18. (Submitted photo)
Suspect screams at customer then assaults store clerk in Nanaimo

RCMP asking for information about Jan. 18 incident at James General Store

Most Read