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'Charitable' collectors forced disabled woman to withdraw $100

The father of an adult woman with a mental disability is warning shoppers to beware of bogus and aggressive charity collectors.

The father of an adult woman with a mental disability is warning shoppers to beware of bogus and aggressive charity collectors.

Brendan Coyle said his 24year-old daughter was intimidated and coerced by three people into withdrawing $100 - her maximum allowable amount - from an ATM to "donate" to them.

Their so-called charity, Children's Joy Foundation, is based in the Philippines, but is not a registered charity and does not have a charitable tax number.

Thankfully, a local realtor watched the entire incident at Richmond Centre on Oct. 5 and stepped in and forced the collectors to hand the money back.

"They did so, reluctantly, after the realtor demanded to see their tax number and permit - neither of which they could produce," said Coyle, adding that he heard from security that it's not the first time the collectors have been found in the shopping centre.

"I am quite thankful she intervened, as in this day and age people usually look away. She reported it to mall security, and I spoke with them as well. He says they do not have permission to be canvassing at the mall and they scatter when security comes around."

Coyle said he was angry when he first heard of the incident, especially since his daughter is a very trusting person.

"(The charity's) website looks real enough, but they're not registered in this country," he added.

"Readers need to be warned not to give to the charity."

Richmond Centre manager Leslie Mathieson said they are well aware of the group involved and have already banned two of them.

"We want to keep these people out of here." She added that permitted non-profits always operate around the guest services desk.

acampbell@richmond-news.com