Alleged charity donation scam concerns students

Students are concerned about an alleged scam seen near the Nest and the Life Building earlier this month.

People asking for donations to the Children’s Joy Foundation on campus is nothing new. But UBC community members have been alleging that it’s a scam since at least November 2016.

The Canadian branch of a Philippines-based organization, the Children’s Joy Foundation is a federally-registered charity that has been active since 2013.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website lists the charity as aiming to “provide assistance for child care residential facility improvement in the Philippines” through the solicitation of donations from the general public. In 2016, the foundation reported $601,439 in revenue, of which $519,085 went to charitable programs.

But it’s unclear if the solicitors seen on campus are actually associated with the Children’s Joy Foundation.

“[They] act dodgy about showing their credentials or proving that they're with the organization,” Reddit user Kinpatsuu wrote. “Not nice people at all.”

Reddit user illswagin had a similar experience, claiming that a solicitor “became defensive” when probed about whether she was with the charity.

“[She] kept saying ‘I’m just a volunteer — you can call the organization’s number,’” they wrote.

The Children’s Joy Foundation could not be reached for comment despite repeated email requests since November 20.

According to UBC’s Policy 100, organizations wanting to solicit donations on campus must seek approval from the VP External and Legal Affairs. But Ali Mojdehi, Campus Security operations manager and interim director, said that his unit is unaware of the Children’s Joy Foundation.

“Anyone who is approached by an individual or group they suspect of criminal activity should contact police immediately,” Mojdehi wrote to The Ubyssey. “[Victims] of a scam should also call the national anti-fraud centre at 1-888-495-8501.”

There are currently no police reports about the foundation to the RCMP, according to UBC RCMP Constable Kevin Ray.

But he added that students should consult the CRA website for information on fraud and do their research on any organization before donating.

“If there is any concern that the Charity is allowed to solicit donations on UBC Campus, people can contact UBC Campus Security at 604-822-2222,” Ray wrote.