RCMP warn Eastern Passage residents over door-to-door solicitation
Published Friday, April 19, 2019 12:14PM ADT
Last Updated Friday, April 19, 2019 6:45PM ADT
Nova Scotia RCMP are investigating reports of two suspicious individuals soliciting door to door on behalf of a local charity
“Usually they’ll come out and tell you all the different options and stuff like that, but she didn’t give me any other options, she just wanted to know if I wanted to donate and if I could donate anything right now,” says Eastern Passage resident Ken MacNeil.
MacNeil says on Wednesday night a young woman came to his door, asking for donations for Hope for Wildlife, but raised several red flags.
By Thursday morning, Hope for Wildlife founder Hope Swinimer had answered several phone calls and emails about fundraising efforts on her behalf.
“We never do door-to-door solicitation so we know right away that no, it’s nothing to do with us,” says Swinimer. “So it’s probably a hoax and someone unfortunately trying to get some pocket money.”
Swinimer rescues and rehabilitates dozens of animals at her property. She says the charity is always looking for donations, but they never send people out to get them.
“It is sad that people have to resort to this to get money, and I always wonder what kind of circumstances they’re in that causes them to have to do this to take from charities, which have a rough time anyway trying to make ends meet,” says Swinimer.
Swinimer alerted the RCMP who are investigating the issue.
The suspects are described as a white male, approximately 5’7” with dark hair, and a female with brown hair and brown eyes.
Police are reminding residents to remain vigilant if someone comes to their door looking for money.
Citizens are advised to ask for a piece of ID, like a drivers licence, and look for branded clothing or items with the company on them, before committing to make a donation, purchase, or enter into a contract of any kind.
In Nova Scotia, individuals selling goods and services are required to carry an ID card that identifies the company they represent. Police advise everyone to be extra cautious when dealing with any kind of solicitation and always verify identification.
Eastern Passage resident Robert Oullette says someone came to his door too. He didn’t donate, but says he’d feel upset if he did under false pretenses.
“I’d feel pretty ripped off by somebody that’s just taking advantage of your good kind spirit,” says Oullette. “And there’s a lot of people in this community that have a good kind spirit, so I could see this community being targeted for something like that.”
As RCMP continue to invest these alleged incidents, they are also asking residents who have any more information to contact the RCMP or Crimestoppers.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Emily Baron Cadloff.