The Boston Police Department would like to take this opportunity to remind individuals to be vigilant of fraudulent charitable solicitors claiming to assist the police. The department has learned of individual contacting would be donors to solicit money on behalf of the ‘Boston Police Patrolmen’s Union Widow and Orphan’ fund. This fund does not exist and is in no way associated with the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Union.
The Boston Police Department encourages donors to do their homework prior to agreeing to support a charity organization.
To ensure the legitimacy of a charitable solicitor:
- When solicited by phone be sure to get the full name, address and phone number of the charity.
- Remember that unscrupulous callers will attempt to get your money fast and will often ask for a credit card number or offer to send a courier before you can change your mind.
- Ask to be sent written materials about the charity. An organization that refuses should be considered a warning sign.
- Find out the purpose of the charity, the amount raised, percentage of your donation that goes to the charity and the percentage used for administrative costs.
It is important to note that it is not usual for fraudulent charities to use the names of legitimate associations or organizations. The best way to protect yourself against fraud is to do some homework prior to agreeing to donate. If a solicitor is resisting your inquiry then that should raise a concern for you.
If you have been victimized by this scam, investigators ask you to contact authorities at firstname.lastname@example.org.