Brantford neighbourhood victimized by door-to-door fundraiser scam
Ryan Flanagan, CTV Kitchener
Published Wednesday, May 17, 2017 5:54PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 17, 2017 6:50PM EDT
Representatives of a children’s centre in Brantford are not going door to door to collect orders for cookie door, desserts or pizza kits – and police say the woman claiming otherwise is a fraudster.
According to police, the fraud was first reported by a woman who claimed that a woman and two children had showed up at her door, saying they were fundraising for the Lansdowne Children’s Centre.
The woman placed a $19 order for cookie dough, and later learned that there was no such fundraiser taking place.
The same person – or at least a person with a similar description and similar story – showed up at Jill Albl’s house too, offering make-your-own pizza kits.
“I thought about my granddaughters, and thought that would be great for them – and I’m supporting Lansdowne on top of it,” Albl said Wednesday.
The Lansdowne Children’s Centre is a rehab facility for children with special needs.
Its executive director, Rita-Marie Hadley, calls news of the alleged fraud “distressing” – particularly because the organization does do fundraising, although not door-to-door.
“We don’t want hard-earned donor dollars fraudulently being redirected,” she said.
Police describe the fraudster as being white and in her 30s, with light brown shoulder-length hair. She had a girl with her who looked to be six or seven years old, as well as a boy in a stroller who may have been two or three years old.
Janette Arabski says she gave $5 to a woman who showed up at her doorstep, claiming to be selling pizza dough for Lansdowne.
“Because she had a child with her, I felt sorry for her,” she said.
After being told by a CTV News reporter that police were investigating the solicitations as fraud, Arabski said she felt “scammed” by the woman.
While the incidents above all occurred on Stratford Terrace, similar reports have come in from deeper into West Brant, near Shellard Lane and Conklin Road.
Police say they want to hear from anyone who was visited by the woman or gave money to a supposed door-to-door fundraising campaign for the Lansdown Children’s Centre.
With reporting by Nicole Lampa