Blue penguin scammer targets Westport
TINA LAW AND DEIDRE MUSSEN
West Coast Blue Penguin Trust chairwoman Kerry-Jayne Wilson notified Westport police yesterday after hearing about two elderly women being phoned in the past few days for donations to help penguins, such as building nest boxes.
The caller, who claimed to be involved with the trust, mentioned a dog attack late last month on a Cape Foulwind blue penguin colony that left 15 penguins dead.
Wilson said the trust did not solicit money by phone, and she believed it was the work of a scammer. "The trustees find it particularly despicable the perpetrators are preying on vulnerable people and discrediting the trust," she said.
Westport community constable Paul Sampson warned people to avoid engaging with anyone phoning for money for blue penguins.
"We don't know the source of it but it will be a scam."
Anyone receiving such a call should hang up.