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charity fraud

Charity fraud alert Impostor says cash only By Chris Woodall Big Brothers & Sisters are not amused. Whistler businesses have been visited by a man soliciting cash donations on behalf of the community group, but he is hoping to pocket whatever he can get. The man is described as tall, distinguished-looking with a moustache. He claims that he can give out tax receipts for donations, but this isn't necessarily so. Police advise businesses to get their staff to ask for picture ID, proof of a tax receipt form and a phone number for a charity's contact person when approached to donate to a good cause. "Don't give them anything if they insist on cash," says RCMP Const. Warren Tomalty. "Right away it's a hoax if they only want cash." The man in question had approached a prominent Whistler coffee shop and an art gallery, but was rebuked. The man was saying he could only accept cash: not cheques or goods in kind. "We don't raise money that way," says Ann-Shirley Goodell, a case worker with Whistler's Big Brothers & Sisters. The annual duck race is the group's biggest fund-raiser, along with smaller efforts. "We'll always issue tax receipts and will accept goods in kind because they can be given directly to the Little Brothers or Sisters," Goodell says. "We're concerned, because it affects other charities' drives," she says, noting that the cancer society is starting its big door-to-door push. "It's best to say, 'leave it with me,' or offer to send in the donation later," rather than hand over anything," Goodell says. o The Big Brothers & Big Sisters are holding their annual general meeting, April 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the community room at the public safety offices, located beside municipal hall. The meeting is open to everyone.

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