The P.E.I. Council of People with Disabilities wants to warn other charities about an attempted fraud.

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Charities work on the good will of others, says Marcia Carroll, executive director of the P.E.I. Council of People with Disabilities, and attempts at fraud are disconcerting. (CBC)

Council executive director Marcia Carroll said her group recently received an email from a potential donor who wanted more information about the work they do. Carroll said they were suspicious from the start, and began to investigate after receiving a cheque in the mail for 12,000 pounds sterling.

"We started to do some research. We researched the bank that the cheque was written on; it was a legitimate bank. We researched the business that he said he worked for, and it was a legitimate business," said Carroll.

"So then we were kind of, 'Maybe 12,000 pounds just falls out of the sky for us.'"

But before the cheque could clear, the donor asked for half the money back. At that point Carroll said they knew it was a scam.

Police say it's an old scam, but targeting a charity is a new twist.

Carroll worries that because charities rely on and regularly receive donations from strangers, other groups could be taken in.