Andy's Got Your Back on charity scams - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Andy's Got Your Back on charity scams

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(WMC-TV) - For every good and registered charity out there, there are hundreds of greedy scammers pretending to be one.

Former District Attorney Rich White describes the con men behind a charitable fraud scheme that involved 450,000 victims across the country and $10 million.

"These people were greedy, but on top of being greedy, quite frankly, they were stupid, too," said White.

The conmen pretended to be a police charity and White says they used this little nugget of a false claim, "Did you know that police officers have to buy their own bullet proof vests, and if they can't afford them they just can't get them."

It was a total lie, but it worked to persuade thousands to cough up millions of dollars to a bogus company posing as a police charity.

"The owners of the company were living large. They had large homes, recreational vehicles, boats, water skis, and jet skis, things like that," said U.S. Postal Inspector Dean Kowalefski.

One way to make sure you do not fall victim to this kind of scam is to not donate money over the phone unless you initiated the call to a confirmed, state-registered charity.

Instead, ask the caller to send you something in the mail.

Postal inspectors also say you should never donate cash and if you are writing a check, be sure to write it out for the name of the organization, rather than to an individual.

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