Adelaide residents warn of door knocking scammers seeking donations for cancer

Residents in Adelaide’s west said scammers have been door knocking asking for credit card details to set up regular payments to support breast cancer research.

Ashlee Megan said two young men aged in their 20s approached her West Beach home in November 2023 with pink uniforms, ID cards and paperwork.

They asked if she knew anyone diagnosed with cancer, and if she could make a monthly donation under $100 to the organisation.

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When Megan refused to provide her credit card details, she said the men became forceful and suggested she inspect their ID cards.

Megan and other residents in the city’s western suburbs who have had similar experiences, thought the door knockers may have been from Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA).

Ashlee Megan said two young men aged in their 20s approached her West Beach home in November 2023 with pink uniforms, ID cards and paperwork.  Credit: Supplied

But BCNA confirmed it doesn’t door knock for fundraisers and those seeking donations were not its employees.

“It’s recently come to our attention people claiming to represent Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) are knocking on doors in South Australia and asking for donations,” the company said.

“Throughout the year, fundraising activities for our network do vary, however in line with BCNA policy, this does not involve door to door activity.

“There are some charities that do face-to-face fundraising, so it is recommended that you ask for proper ID including a photo from anyone requesting donations for a charity.”

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) warned of similar scams in 2014, when companies were posing as registered charities, asking for donations.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation, which does door-knocking activity to collect money, said in response to the ACCC’s warning people should always check the ID of volunteers and ask for a receipt with the charity’s ABN.

Residents concerned about fake volunteers being involved in a scam should contact police, and provide descriptions of the people, any vehicles and direction of travel.

“Legitimate volunteers will have proper identification including a photo which clearly identifies them as being a volunteer for that charity,” South Australia Police said

“If in doubt, contact the charity directly, using a number that you look up, not one provided by the ‘volunteer’.”

Megan said she wanted to warn others so they didn’t fall victim to a potential scam.

“It’s a bit confronting to think they’ve been knocking on my door. You always imagine scammers being someone over the internet or someone overseas trying to steal your money, not someone standing in front of you,” Megan said.

“They don’t care about the person they’re taking from. It’s a different mentality.”

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