Beware debit-machine scammers
Police are urging well-meaning Kamloops residents to be cautious when dealing with fundraisers after a pair of high-tech scams last week.
On Monday, May 7, an Aberdeen resident called Mounties to report two suspicious men going door-to-door, seeking donations.
The apparent crooks said they were collecting money for UNICEF on behalf of Starbucks, but had no identification.
On Thursday, May 10, a North Kamloops woman was taken for more than $500 by a scammer in Northhills Mall.
In that instance, the woman approached a table in the mall where a man had set up a number of Starbucks gift bags.
She was told the goodie bags were for sale for $10 each, with the money going toward a local soccer team.
She bought one, using a standalone debit PIN pad the scammer had at the table.
Later in the day, the woman checked her bank account to see $100 had been withdrawn at an ATM and another $417 cashed with a phoney cheque in Vernon.
Both scams are similar to an incident in Penticton last month, in which two men claiming to be from Starbucks went door-to-door with a PIN pad, soliciting donations for charity.
Police are warning would-be philanthropists to be careful when donating money.
Anyone with information about these or similar incidents is asked to call police at 250-828-3000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.