Wilson County Sheriff’s Office warns of fundraising scam

Jacob Smith • Mar 8, 2018 at 5:32 PM

Wilson County sheriff’s Lt. Scott Moore warned Wilson County residents Thursday about scammers who call on behalf of law enforcement and first responders.

According to Moore, the department has gotten several complaints regarding scammers who solicit people for money as a fundraiser for law enforcement and first responders.

Moore offered five tips to people who may consider donating money over the phone. The first tip was the organization should be able to provide written information to describe what the program’s donations will support, as well as its fundraising costs before donating.

“Just because an organization claims it has local ties or works with local police or firefighters doesn’t mean contributions will be used locally or for public safety,” said Moore.

Secondly, Moore encouraged people to ask fundraisers for identification.

“Many states require paid fundraisers to identify themselves as such and to name the organization for which they’re soliciting,” he said.

Next, he said to ask the organization how the contribution would be used.

“Ask what percentage of your contribution will go to the fire or police organization, department or program,” said Moore. “Also, ask if your contribution will be used locally. Get written information.”

Moore then encouraged people to call the organization or the local police or fire department to verify a fundraiser’s claim that it’s collecting on behalf of the organization. If the claim can’t be verified, report the solicitation to local law enforcement officials.

Lastly, Moore suggested people should be wary if a fundraiser suggests they would receive special treatment for donating.

“No legitimate fundraiser would guarantee that you won’t be stopped for speeding if you have a police organization’s decal in your car window,” he said. “Don’t fee intimidated about declining to give. A caller who uses intimidation tactics is likely to be a scam artist. Report the call to your local law enforcement officials.”

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