As the calendar eases closer towards the Christmas season, Port Moody Police Department (PMPD) is warning residents to remain vigilant of door-to-door solicitations that may not always have the best intentions of the season.
PMPD Const. Jason Maschke said the department has investigated six calls of suspicious door-to-door activity in recent weeks. And while all of them proved to be legitimate, he said, “If it smells fishy, it probably is.”
Maschke said residents should not be afraid to ask for proper identification from people coming to their doors seeking charitable contributions. Those soliciting donations should also be presenting themselves in a “professional manner,” he added.
Maschke said while scammers “will try to squeeze their way in at any time of year,” door-to-door solicitations to help local organizations typically ramp up during the holiday season, providing perfect cover for someone looking to line their own pockets.
Claire MacLean, CEO of Share Family and Community Services, said representatives of her organization don’t go door-to-door to solicit funds for the various programs it supports, including the food bank, but individuals or groups can take it upon themselves to collect money on their behalf.
She said Share doesn’t vet those initiatives and often doesn’t know about them until someone shows up to donate the funds they’ve collected.
“We’re really thrilled the public gets so involved,” MacLean said. “We couldn’t do what we do without the public’s support.”
MacLean added if anyone has concerns about individual solicitations, the most secure way to ensure they help Share is to donate online through its website (sharesociety.ca). It’s even possible to make direct donations to the food bank through its new virtual grocery store (sharesociety.ca/donate-food), which sets a pre-determined donation for hampers of fruit, pantry items, dairy products and even baby items.
MacLean said those kind of direct donations to the food bank provide more bang for the buck as they triple the organization’s buying power with grocery stores. The money also helps keep the food bank’s delivery trucks on the road.