Beware police charity scammers

It may be the season for giving but State Senator Joseph Addabbo warns seniors not to give in to charity scammers.
Addabbo, who is a member of the Senate’s Committee on the Aging, said that seniors have been targeted by phony police charity con artists.
“The calls are targeted primarily to seniors, and hope to take advantage of seniors in the holiday spirit to coerce them into giving to a ‘worthy cause.’ What the callers really hope to do is to drain your bank accounts,” said Addabbo.
These scams have been going on for years. According to Addabbo, The New York State Police Benevolent Association was identified as a scam by the State Attorney General’s Office during the holiday season of 2006. Callers said they were the fundraising arm for the State Troopers and requested personal information like a bank account number and debit and credit card numbers.
That year, Public Information Officer Trooper Rebecca Gibbons said, “The state police do not solicit donations over the phone. Most police agencies in New York State have a police benevolent association, but they do not call people for donations.”
Addabbo said the best course of action would be to get as much information as possible from the caller. Although they can be friendly and persistent, ask if they can be called back, and then verify the information with the police department.
Authorities advise everyone to not give out any personal or financial information to strangers over the phone and those with caller ID should look out for blocked or unknown numbers.
For those who want to donate to local or state police agencies, contact the appropriate local agencies or your local police precinct directly.

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