Fort McMurray fires: Beware of fake charities and donation scams

Many opening up their wallets to help thousands of residents displaced by massive wildfire


OTTAWA, May 10, 2016 – The devastating situation in Fort McMurray and Alberta has resulted in an outpouring of generosity from Canadians across the country, many of whom are opening up their wallets to help support the thousands of residents displaced by this massive wildfire.

While situations like these often bring out the best in people, they unfortunately also bring out the worst in some people. The Competition Bureau is warning Canadians that scammers may be looking to take advantage of your kindness by asking for donations or masking themselves as fake charities in order to profit from this disaster.

In order to ensure your donations go to legitimate charities, keep in mind the following:

• Don’t give cash or financial information if you have any doubts about the legitimacy of a website, organization or individual asking for donations.

• Verify if the organization that approached you is registered in the Canada Revenue Agency Charity Listings.

• Don’t click on untrusted links you receive via email or social media. It’s safer to approach an aid organization directly to donate.

The Canadian Red Cross is a trusted organization raising funds for Alberta wildfire evacuees. The Government of Canada has promised it will match every dollar donated to the Canadian Red Cross in support of the Fort McMurray relief effort.

For more related advice, read the Better Business Bureau’s charity tips.

To report a scam, contact the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre at, or call 1‑888‑495‑8501.

For more information on charity scams, visit the Charity scam section of the Bureau’s The Little Black Book of Scams.

View The Little Black Book of Scams’ YouTube video about fake charities.

Visit the Fraud Prevention section of the Bureau’s website for more information on fighting fraud.

The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.