Sheriff’s Message for SUMMER
We at the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office would like you to be mindful of fraudulent schemes or scams. Scams come in many different forms and can be devastating. Most scams will affect your pocketbook and are pushed upon our elderly citizens. In many cases, these scams are operated from overseas and the victim’s money is never recovered.
The more common scams involve a lottery that you didn’t know you played, a home repair you didn’t request, a loved one in need of bond money, an arrest warrant you were unaware of, computer viruses that steal your identity and many more. These thieves request everything from cash to gift cards to your personal information. You should never give out personal identifying information over the phone.
If you feel that you are the target of a scam, take some time to research what is being asked of you. You can also check with another trusted individual to help you with this research. The Better Business Bureau is a good place to validate the legitimacy of a business that may be soliciting you.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers the following advice to consumers solicited for contributions to nonprofit groups:
- Learn all you can about an organization before contributing. Ask for printed documentation on how much of your contribution will be used for program services and how much will go for fundraising and management expensed.
- Most tax-exempt nonprofits are required to file what are called 990 report forms with the Internal Revenue Service every year. Potential donors can view these reports by going to guidestar.org.
- Whenever possible, donate directly to an organization and not through a fundraising telemarketer or a direct mail solicitation. That helps insure that most of your contribution goes directly to the organization.
- When dealing with a charity, check with BBB for a BBB Charity Review. For a charity to receive BBB accreditation, it must meet 20 Standards of Accountability covering everything from governance to fundraising.
If you still have questions, request that the business send you official documentation or contact your local police agency. Stay safe and enjoy the summer.
Sheriff Anthony Wickersham.