At the AMVETS Post in Millis, Massachusetts Commander Mike Delaporta isn’t happy that someone is asking for money on their behalf.
“It’s obviously disgusting that someone would try to scam people using a veterans organization, but it’s also very offensive, because we do so much for the community and we have so much trust in the community and they have trust in us,” Delaporta said.
Millis police issued a scam warning after a Medway resident was contacted by phone and asked to make a donation to the AMVETS Post 495. The caller asked the resident to tape an envelope to the door and said that someone would be by to pick it up.
“We do not solicit money over the phone. Never have and never will,” said Delaporta. “If it’s happening here in Millis, there is a good possibility that it’s happening in other communities and to other veterans posts.”
Phone schemes are happening all over New England. Paula Fleming with the Better Business Bureau tells NBC10 Boston that this is a type of phishing scam, where they are using a local organization and trying to dupe people out of their money. Phone phishing schemes are the most common type of scams reported on the Better Business Bureau scam tracker in our region. Nearly 400 were reported last year and people lost thousands of dollars.
“They are using an organization’s name that is local and that would instill trust,” said Fleming. “You have to take a step back and you have to research the organization. Never leave cash or a check at your doorstep or allow a stranger into your house to collect any donations.”
Also, never give out your credit card or bank information over the phone, even if the phone call seems legitimate and the caller ID matched up.
“Never trust your caller ID,” added Fleming. “We call it spoofing, so they can use any type of phone number where it looks local and legit, but you never want to trust that.”
If you haven’t already, you should register your home and mobile numbers with the National Do Not Call Registry. It won’t stop all unsolicited calls, but it will stop most.