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Beware of Charity Scams
By Det. Dave Baumhover #975
Frederick Police Department
To show your support for first responders, you may consider making a donation when a fund-raiser calls from a fire or police agency. A fund-raising organization should be able to provide you with written information describing the programs your donation will support, and their fund-raising costs before you donate. Most solicitations for police and fire service organizations are made by paid professional fund-raisers and if they can’t provide you with some basic written information, then it’s likely a scammer trying to get your credit card information.
Beware of organizations with names that are similar to legitimate groups and avoid sharing your credit card information, banking or any other kind of personal information over the phone. It’s simply not safe. If you do want to donate, tell the caller to send you a letter in the mail (scammers won’t do this) or that you will visit the charity website to make your donation.
Charity scams are not new by any means. However, you should be aware they are typically cyclical and the first responder contribution scam is gaining popularity in our area. It’s a close second to the all familiar IRS arrest warrant scam.