The Canadian Federation of the Blind (CFB) has taken to its Facebook page to warn consumers of an alleged, countrywide scam involving people posing as official volunteers asking grocery shoppers for donations.
The post published Jan. 27 says the scam has been running at grocery stores in several provinces, but “most recently, throughout southwestern Ontario.” According to CBC News, officials from the not-for-profit grassroots organization say fraudulent displays have been spotted at stores in London, Chatham and Ingersoll, Ont. The setup includes a donation box and an unbranded poster featuring an image of a guide dog and a person in a wheelchair with a cane.
“It’s hard to believe there are people who would commit such blatantly fraudulent scams, but that means we’re well known enough for them to try, just not well known enough that they are getting away with it and fooling goodhearted shoppers into dropping their hard-earned money into the scammer’s fake donation boxes,” the Facebook post reads.
Kerry Kijewski, secretary of the CFB Ontario chapter, tells CBC the majority of its fundraising is conducted through events, magazine ads and online donations. Kijewski says CFB officials have visited store managers where the incidents took place. She says CFB has not filed a report with the London Police Service, but authorities have been contacted in other cities were similar scams have allegedly taken place.
CBC News says it reached out to managers at two London grocery stores and they were unaware of the events.