Calls soliciting donations for police, veterans, and firefighter organizations have become one of today’s most common robocalls. While there are many legitimate charities who support these groups, a handful of untrustworthy organizations are using them to rake in cash for themselves.
These organizations operate under names that sound legitimate and claim to be raising much-needed funds. The caller will often say they are a police officer, but be vigilant because it is not typically a human calling. The recorded message will usually be something like:
“This is Joe with the Police Coalition. We are raising funds to help fight for our officers protecting our nations citizens, just like you.”
A very small amount of these funds may be given to the stated organizations, but the robocall themselves are very vague and give broad descriptions of what they are raising money for. This is because the money mostly goes into their pockets and into investing in more firms to expand their robocall network, which results in more and more robocalls. This is how, we believe, they have become one of the highest reported robocalls in recent months.
If you are looking into donating money to a charity, make sure to double check the legitimacy of the organization and how they spend their earnings. Many legitimate organizations do not actually seek donations over the phone or make robocalls and will claim so on their website. A trustworthy charity would be transparent and give most of their spending to their dedicated cause. They should also be a tax-exempt organization. You can check find this information on the IRS website and Charity Navigator. A good way to give back to your local police and firemen is to call or visit their websites to find out how you can directly support them.
Call-blocking apps, including those powered by TNS Call Guardian®, are also a great resource for reporting and blocking unwanted robocalls. Stay vigilant, share information about scams with others and be sure to check out our monthly Scam of the Month page updates.
John Haraburda is Product Lead for TNS Call Guardian® with specific responsibility for TNS’ Communications Market solutions.
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