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Hospital scammer canvassing Maple Ridge neighbourhood

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A con artist pretending to represent Ridge Meadows Hospital has been canvassing Maple Ridge neighbourhoods in an attempt to scam well-meaning residents into handing over cash donations.

The Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation received a call from a concerned donor after a young woman with a hospital ID badge showed up at their door on Tuesday, asking for donations near 123rd Avenue and 233rd Street.

The husband declined, saying they already support the hospital, while his wife called the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation to see if the canvasser was legitimate.

"We don't go door to door for donations," said Sandra Rankin, executive director of the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation. "This person had nothing to do with the hospital or the foundation."

She's concerned donors may have been bilked out of their money by the scam artist.

"For every call we get, there's probably 10 more we haven't gotten," said Rankin.

An RCMP spokesperson advised that most legitimate charities have other means of allowing you to donate, and if you don't feel comfortable, don't hand over any cash.

"Anytime you're not 100 per cent sure, ask them for an information pamphlet with a phone number you can call to donate, or donate online," the spokesperson said.

Rankin advised anyone who has been approached by someone canvassing for donations for the hospital in recent weeks to call the police and report the incident.

"We sympathize with people who have given money to this person," said Rankin. "We don't want people misrepresenting us."

• To donate to the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation safely and securely, visit their website at www.rmhfoundation.com, or call 604-463-1822.

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