Charity/donation scams

These scams involve any false, deceptive, misleading or fraudulent solicitation for a donation to a charity, association, federation or religious cause. Scam artists hope to profit from people's generosity and compassion for others in need. As a result, the CAFC reminds Canadians to be wary of charity scams.

Warning sign(s) - How to protect yourself

  • Refuse high-pressure requests for donations. Legitimate charities will not push you to donate on the spot.
  • Ask for written information about the charity, including name, address and telephone number. A legitimate charity or fundraiser will give you information about the charity's mission, how your donation will be used and proof that your contribution is tax deductible.
  • Ask the solicitor for the registered charitable tax number of the charity. Question any discrepancies. Confirm the charity's registration information through the Canada Revenue Agency (1-800-267-2384) or online.
  • If someone comes to your door asking for a donation, ask the collector for details about the charity such as its full name, address and how the proceeds will be used. If they become defensive and cannot answer your questions, close the door.
  • The best way to avoid charity scams is to make a list of the charities that are most important to you, research them thoroughly and then donate directly.

Were you a victim?

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
Toll-free: 1-888-495-8501

Competition Bureau of Canada
Toll-free: 1-800-348-5358

Ontario Provincial Police
Toll-free: 1-888-310-1122

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
Toll-free: 1-866-461-3222

Better Business Bureau
(BBB Locator Tool)

Fraud: Recognize, report and stop it!

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