Manitoba

'Completely sketchy': Winnipeg women's shelter warns public of fake concert promotion

Someone acting as a North End Women’s Centre employee is trying to con people by promoting a fake upcoming concert in support of the non-profit.

Fraudster advertising as North End Women’s Centre employee

North End Women's Centre was tipped off about the scam by a local performer in the lineup, a spokesperson said. (Facebook/North End Women's Centre)

Winnipeg's North End Women's Centre says someone posing as an employee is trying to con people by promoting a fake upcoming concert in support of the non-profit.

A poster with the North End Women's Centre logo "and likeness" was promoting a show scheduled for Feb. 15, 2020, at the RBC Convention Centre, featuring performers such as Bif Naked and a meet-and-greet with Grammy Award-winner Alessica Cara, the group posted on Facebook Monday night.

There is no event scheduled in the RBC Convention Centre booking system, and nothing like this happened to them before, according to a convention centre spokesperson.

"I don't know where this is going to lead," North End Women's Centre spokesperson Kristi Beaune told CBC News Tuesday afternoon. "It doesn't look great, and our name is all over the poster."

Part of the concern is that the women's centre does host fundraising events and has events planned in 2020, so "these kinds of things could potentially take the toll on a legitimate fundraising effort or awareness event," Beaune said.

"This is completely sketchy."

North End Women's Centre was tipped off about the scam by a local performer in the lineup, who was verifying whether the non-profit was actually associated with the event, Beaune said.

The scam is concerning for the North End Women's Centre because it may negatively impact events the group hosts in the future, Beaune said. (Cynthia Drebot)

The con artist had forwarded the musician an eight-page legal contract, committing them to the event for a $350 payday.

This person has never worked for the non-profit and there was no answer when calling the phone number on the contract, she added.

Police advised North End Women's Centre to post about the scam on social media to raise awareness and to forward any information along to them, Beaune said.

When contacted by CBC News on Tuesday afternoon, Winnipeg Police Service spokesperson Const. Tammy Skrabek said she couldn't yet confirm that a police report had been made.

"This is not a common thing we see," Skrabek said, adding that someone selling tickets to a non-event would be committing fraud.

"The shelter is acting responsibly by making it known they do not sponsor this event."

The Facebook post spread quickly and was shared to and by performers on the poster, such as Winnipeg musician Keri Latimer. So Beaune sees that as a bright spot.

The North End Women's Centre is adamant that it is in no way involved in what is being advertised.

The non-profit is asking anyone who sees an event affiliated with North End Women's Centre, that is not promoted on its Facebook page, to call them at 204-589-7347 or email at info@newcentre.org to verify the event's legitimacy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicholas Frew is an online reporter with CBC Edmonton. Hailing from Newfoundland, Frew moved to Halifax to attend journalism school. He has worked for CBC newsrooms in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Prior to joining the CBC, he interned at the Winnipeg Free Press.

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