The Royal Canadian Legion in Langford is warning residents of phone scammers claiming to be poppy fund volunteers. (Black Press Media file photo)

Poppy fund scammer on the loose, says local Royal Canadian Legion

Caller is pretending to be a poppy fund volunteer, asking for Visa or MasterCard payments

The Royal Canadian Legion is warning residents of a fraud caller that is soliciting donations in Greater Victoria

On Oct. 3, the Langford branch received a call from a Colwood resident who said they were contacted by someone claiming to be a poppy fund volunteer, asking for a donation. The caller claimed they would be able to easily set up a one-time payment or monthly payments through Visa or MasterCard.

READ MORE: Victoria Legion goes belly-up fue to lack of volunteers

“It burns me with frustration,” says Ervin Kobialko, treasurer for the Langford branch.

“Luckily, the woman was smart enough to hang up and call our office. I’m worried that others might fall for this scam. It’s hard to understand why someone would steep that low, especially with all that our non-profit does for the community.”

ALSO READ: Royal Canadian Legion seeks permanent property tax relief

Kobialko says the Legion never asks for donations over the phone. He noted they only call residents asking for volunteers to help with the poppy campaign. Otherwise, donations are usually accepted in-person at the Legion or at various businesses with poppy fund boxes.

This year, Kobialko says their Legion hopes to raise $100,000. In previous years, they have been falling short of their goal. In 2019, they raised $88,000.

“This is the first time someone has tried this scam in our area. We hope to pass our goal this year so we can invest back into our community. We will be looking at more new businesses to help us carry the poppy fund boxes.”

The poppy fund campaign begins on Friday, Oct. 25 and runs until Nov. 10.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com


@iaaronguillen
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