Scammers prey on residents, ?raising funds for school

By SAM BENGERsamb@gladstoneobserver.com.au

GLADSTONE residents have been warned of a scam involving people claiming to raise funds for Toolooa State High School. School principal, Roger Atkins, said a person or persons had been collecting money for a so-called "Toolooa Fund''.

"Someone has obviously decided to try to make some extra cash, so they've got some raffle tickets and are claiming to be raising funds for Toolooa, but we're warning parents and the wider community that this is not the case, and the school does not do its fundraising in this way,'' he said.

Mr Atkins warned people that even students appearing to be wearing school uniforms did not collect money for any cause without proper supervision and credentials.

"All our raffles and fundraising are done through the school, and students are certainly not sent door-to-door unsupervised,'' Mr Atkins said.

"I would consider this sort of behaviour minor larsony ? it may not be vast quantities of money that are being collected, but it's certainly preying on people's generosity.''

Gladstone Police district crime prevention co-ordinator Senior Constable Mia Pakarinen advised residents to be wary of people claiming to be fundraising for organisations including schools.

"We would advise people to look for badges and proof of membership and always ask for a receipt for any donation over $2 for tax purposes,'' Snr Const Pakarinen said.

She said residents should also know that donating money was voluntary and they should not feel pressured to contribute to any organisation.

"If a person feels that someone collecting money door-to-door has no affiliation with the organisation they are representing then they should certainly report the incident,'' she said.

Snr Const Pakarinen said other alternatives included making donations directly to organisations, or contacting organisations to find out when they would be conducting doorknock appeals.

"We would urge people to use common sense and if they feel uncertain about a donation or sponsorship, to contact the school or organisation, to make sure they receive a receipt and to feel confident the person is who they say they are before donating,'' she said.



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