Police warn about fundraising phone scam

DENVER -- Police are warning about a fundraising scam that’s circulating the area. The caller asks for donations to support police officers.

When Dusty Dunbar’s phone rang last week, the man on the other end, claimed to be with the Police Action Fund.

“I respect our police. They help keep us safe and respond to our needs,” Dusty Dunbar said.

She was told her $35 dollar pledge would go toward the care of injured officers and support law enforcement families.

“It sounded very legitimate. In this day in age when we have so many officers who have been injured or killed in the line of duty,” Dunbar said.

Dunbar lives on the Western Slope and the call came in from Colorado, or so she thought.

“It was a 970 area code and it came in from Allenspark, in Boulder County,” Dunbar said.

Having directed a non-profit in the past, Dunbar knows how this works. She did not hand over her credit card information, instead she asked to talk to a supervisor.

“I do not contribute to any organization with my credit card, so I told them they are welcome to send a solicitation letter to my address and I would send it to them,” Dunbar said.

But Dunbar got skeptical when the letter arrived in the mail. The address was postal box in Virginia.

“Then the letter came in and it just didn’t look right. No nonprofit number, no board members, no real street address,” Dunbar said.

Another red flag, the letter said contributions are not tax deductible. Police departments in Colorado, North Dakota and Maine are also sounding off on this scam. Dunbar wants everyone to be cautious.

“Just validate it. Being able to contribute to a nonprofit is a great thing, but you want to make sure you don’t get taken,” Dunbar said. “Nonprofit organizations work really hard to try and help solve problems. It shouldn’t be that stinkers take people’s money when they’re trying to contribute it legitimately.”

Denver Police said their department as well as the Denver Police Protective Association do not solicit money over the phone.

Click here for more information on how to verify charities.

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