Pair targeting churches in scam: Cops – Metro US

Pair targeting churches in scam: Cops

This is even below Scrooge.

Halifax Regional Police put out a warning yesterday about a couple who are trying to scam churches just in time for the holidays.

The couple, according to police, generally contact someone at a church and ask for money for rent, food or supplies for their children, who do exist. They often say they’re trying to get an apartment for Christmas and need a damage deposit.

“We don’t know of anyone who has been taken, but we had information this has happened in the past,” said spokesman Const. Brian Palmeter “And we have source information that this couple is back in the Metro area and back at it.”

Church staff may be embarrassed and not want to come forward to police or they might not even know they’ve been scammed, he said. Churches have been the target, but other charitable groups may be scammed as well.

“We just wanted to make people aware because, unfortunately, there are people who will take advantage of people’s generosity.”

Palmeter said police know this has happened before in HRM, but often they don’t find out about it until well after the fact, which makes it difficult to track down suspects.

“We’re not trying to suggest organizations shouldn’t help people, but we would recommend against handing over cash,” he said.

Instead, charities should write a cheque to the person who is owed the money (landlord, etc.) and verify the person’s identity before giving money.